Regulations on unpaid leaves of employees in Vietnam, unpaid leaves of employees in Vietnam, unpaid leaves of employees, Penalty for not allowing the employees to take unpaid leave,

Regulations on unpaid leaves of employees in Vietnam

The Covid-19 has created many heavy impacts on society. If the employees are forced to quit to treat their disease, first they would have to use their sickness regime. If the maximum days on the sickness regime are over, they would have to use the remaining paid leaves, normally 12 days a year. However, if those paid leaves are over too, the employees will have no other choice but to negotiate with the employer for unpaid leaves. This is, in fact, their last resolve! So, what are the regulations on unpaid leaves of employees in Vietnam?

In normal circumstances, the employee will have one day off with unpaid leave in the case of the death of his/her grandparent or biological sibling; marriage of his/her parent or natural sibling.

This unpaid leave day is to facilitate the employee if there are events transpired that require them to take an additional day off.

If one day off with unpaid leave according to the regulations is not enough, the employee may negotiate with his/her employer on taking unpaid leave other than the leave stipulated in Clause 1 and Clause 2 of Article 115 of the Labor Code 2019.

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

It should be noted that during this circumstance, the employee does not have to ask the employer’s permission but must have a notice (message, call, email,…) due to the urgency of this event.

Penalty for not allowing the employees to take unpaid leave

Besides the extra unpaid leave days requested by the employees mentioned above that the employer can refuse, all other unpaid leave days are strictly regulated by the law.

Accordingly, for those days, the employees can’t refuse or in other words, have the right to forbid the employees to take those unpaid leave days.

If the employer insists on denying the employees their rights, they will be punished accordingly.

Pursuant to the provisions at 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 who commits one of the following acts:

a) Failing to guarantee the employee’s personal leave or unpaid leave as prescribed by law;

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

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

Discipline for taking unpaid leave without the employer’s permission

For the unpaid leave days outside the regulations of the law, if the employees took those days off without negotiating with the employers and have their consent, such actions will be considered a voluntarily quit from the employee’s side.

According to Clause 4, Article 125 of the Labor Code 2019, an employee who voluntarily quits their job without a justified reason for 5 accumulated days within a period of 30 days or 20 accumulated days within a period of 365 days, the employer has the right to unilaterally terminate the labor contract for disciplinary reasons.

Justified reasons include natural disasters, fires; the employee or his/her family member suffering from illness with a certification by a competent health facility; and other reasons as stipulated in the internal labor regulations.

ASL LAW is the top-tier Vietnam law firm for Employment and Labor Law. If you need any advice, please contact us for further information or collaboration.


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