2021 Lunar New Year bonuses: Vietnam employees should accept bonus in kind
The Hanoitimes - Deputy Head of Labor Relations Department, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor (VGCL) Le Dinh Quang told Hanoitimes that the agency is working with relevant units to monitor the 2021 Lunar New Year payment of salary and bonus as well as industrial relations at companies.
What are the results of the VGCL’s survey on salary and year-end bonus payment?
Tet bonuses have become a corporate culture for a long time. Salaries and bonuses depend on the health of each business. The year 2020 is the most difficult year for most businesses in the past few decades, due to the outbreak of Covid-19. However, through our survey, enterprises, especially those in industrial zones, have committed themselves not to stop paying Tet bonuses for employees. The average bonus this year would not be higher than last year, but it would be equal to a month's salary according to the employment contract.
|Deputy Head of Labor Relations Department, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor Le Dinh Quang|
According to the survey, what types of companies have the most difficulty paying the Tet (Lunar New Year) bonus for employees?
In fact, small and micro businesses, which were not affected by Covid-19 in previous years, have a difficult time paying Tet bonuses. This year they have been the most affected by the pandemic. Therefore, unions at all levels have decided to take care of union members in these companies, even of those who are not.
Can you elaborate more on how the trade union would take care of employees ahead of the 2021Tet?
The VGCL has been determined to mobilize all resources to ensure Tet bonuses for employees, especially those who lose their jobs, and the employees whose incomes are significantly reduced this year.
Furthermore, the VGCL has tasked unions with fully understanding the specific situation, negotiating with employers to create a regulation on Tet bonuses and making it public. Trade union at grassroots level must also monitor the industrial relations, especially bankrupt enterprises, so that employees of businesses running at a loss to have a decent, cozy and economical Tet celebration.
From January 1, 2021, besides cash payment of bonus, companies can pay bonus in kind after consulting with related employees’ union. What do you think about this?
This new regulation in the Labor Code is consistent with the current market mechanism and practice. Currently, many businesses choose to give cash and valuable things as bonuses. However, we cannot rule out that companies reward employees with products as a way to liquidate inventory. Assuming that the company is in too difficult a situation and has no cash, the employee should accept bonuses in kind.
Particularly, enterprises are not allowed to take advantage of this regulation to force employees to accept bonus in kind. Moreover, the Law also stipulates that the employer must build a regulation on bonus, with the participation of the trade union and make it public among the employees.
The payment of salaries and bonuses depends on the business performance of the companies. In the difficult context of this year, we hope that employees share and accompany the employer to overcome it. When companies overcome difficulties, they will be in a position to take care of their employees.
Once again, I would like to repeat that if any employee has difficulties, please contact the local trade union for assistance. The trade union has solutions to support those who cannot afford to return home for the Tet holiday.
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