Regulations on unpaid leave of employees in Vietnam

Regulations on unpaid leave of employees in Vietnam

Covid-19 has created many heavy impacts on society. If an employee is forced to take time off work for the treatment of an illness, they must first take sick leave. If the maximum number of sick leave days is exhausted, they need to use the remaining full paid leave days, normally 12 days per year. However, if those days of paid leave have been exhausted, the employee will have no choice but to negotiate with the employer about the unpaid leave. In fact, this is their last resort because in addition to not being paid, taking leave like this has many other consequences that are difficult to measure! Thus, what are the regulations on an unpaid leave of employees in Vietnam?

Under normal circumstances, employees will be entitled to one day of unpaid leave in the event of the death of their grandparent or sibling; marriage of one’s parents or siblings.

This unpaid leave is intended to create favorable conditions for employees if an event occurs that forces them to take an extra day off.

In case there is not enough 01 day of unpaid leave as prescribed, the employee may agree with the employer on the unpaid leave beyond the time specified in Clauses 1 and 2, Article 115 of the Labor Law 2019.

In this case, depending on the agreement of the two parties, the number of days of unpaid leave may be of different length. If the employer does not give leave, the employee is not allowed to voluntarily take leave.

It should be noted that in this case, the employee does not have to ask the employer’s permission but must give notice (message, call, email, etc.) due to the urgent nature of these events.

Penalties for not allowing employees to take unpaid leave

In addition to the above-said unpaid leave days that the employer may refuse, all other unpaid days off are strictly regulated by law.

Accordingly, those days employees are not allowed to refuse or in other words, have the right to prohibit employees from taking those days off without pay.

If the employer insists on denying the worker’s rights, they will be punished accordingly.

Pursuant to the provisions of Point a, Clause 1, Article 18 of Decree 12/2022/ND-CP, a fine of between VND 2,000,000 and 5,000,000 shall be imposed on the employer.

Thus, if the employee is not entitled to unpaid leave as prescribed by law, the employer can be fined up to 5 million VND.

If the employer is an organization, the fine will be up to 10 million VND.

Discipline when taking unpaid leave without the employer’s permission

For unpaid days off in addition to the provisions of the law, if the employee takes those days off without an agreement with the employer and with the consent of the employer, such behavior will be considered voluntary leave.

According to the provisions of Clause 4, Article 125 of the Labor Law 2019, an employee who voluntarily quits his job without a valid reason for 5 cumulative days within a period of 30 days or 20 cumulative days within a period of 365 days, the employer The employee has the right to unilaterally terminate the labor contract with the employee for disciplinary reasons.

Good reasons include natural disasters, fires; employees or their family members being sick certified by a competent medical facility; and other reasons as prescribed in the Labor Regulations.

ASL LAW is the top-tier Vietnam law firm for Anti-dumping & countervailing. If you need any advice, please contact us for further information or collaboration.


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