On January 1, 2020, region-based minimum wages for non-state employees in Vietnam will increase by an average of 5.5%. The increase was passed by Vietnam’s National Wage Council on July 11, 2019, and approved by the prime minister on November 17 of the same year.

As the cost of living varies dramatically throughout Vietnam, the government divides the country into four salary regions for the purpose of issuing minimum wages, reflecting the economic realities of the urban/rural divide and other developmental factors. The increase in the minimum wage for 2020 is summarised in the table below.

Monthly minimum wage by region:

  • Companies are not permitted to pay unskilled employees monthly wages which are lower than the relevant minimum wage. Wages paid to employees who have undergone vocational training should be at least 7% higher than the minimum salary, according to the country’s Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.Region I includes the urban and suburban districts of Hanoi and Hai Phong in the north, and the urban and suburban districts of Ho Chi Minh City and its neighboring provinces of Dong Nai, Binh Duong, and Ba Ria – Vung Tau in the south.
  • Region II includes the outskirts of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as other large and medium-sized cities throughout Vietnam, such as Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Can Tho.
  • Region III includes smaller provincial cities and suburban districts.
  • Region IV includes all remaining areas, including the least developed and sparsely populated rural and mountainous regions of Vietnam.

Comment

Employers with employees in each of the four regions mentioned above should be aware of these changes and ensure that they are complying with them by paying their employees the minimum wage for that region. Contract and payroll reviews are therefore recommended to ensure compliance.