Working in Hanoi, Vietnam
Vietnam is an emerging economy and one of the rising stars in expat destinations. If you’re exploring employment options in the country, you may wish to check out the salary range in top industries.
Salaries in Vietnam
The Adecco Vietnam Salary Guide 2015 here lists the qualification and salary expectations for different key positions across various industries such as Finance & Banking; Legal & Compliance; Office & Administration, Sales, Marketing & Events; Information Technology; Engineering & Technical and Medical & Life Sciences.
If you are with your company back home and on a working assignment, you’re likely paid the Western rate. Top executives of multinational enterprises and country directors of international organisation often enjoy high compensation while working in the city. Expats looking for employment locally, meanwhile, have a lot of advantage if they’re native English speakers. Working as an English teacher will earn them enough to live comfortably.
Most jobs in Hanoi are in the mineral and metallurgy, textile, pharmacy and banking. The capital’s main economy driver is industrial production and it employs the most number of workers in the country. Vietnam requires employers to prioritise Vietnamese job applicants. If an employer, local or foreign, wants to hire a non-Vietnamese, it is mandated to submit a written explanation as to why foreigners are required for certain positions. State authorities will issue a written approval if they find the explanation acceptable.
It’s necessary to have basic knowledge of Vietnamese labour laws to protect yourself either as an employee or employer. Under the law, employees may not work more than 10 hours in a shift and 48 hours per week. Sunday is a typical rest day but employers can set another day as long as the employee has at least 24 hours of rest each week. An employee who has been in service for the same employer for 12 months is entitled to a 12 paid leaves annually. One day of paid leave is added for every five years of service.
Before signing an employment contract with a company in Vietnam, take the time to read the fine prints to make sure it includes the following as required by the Labour Code: the nature of the job, work hours and rest days, salary or wages, work location, contract duration, occupational safety and hygiene conditions and employee insurance. If the contract is for three months or more, you and your employer are mandated to contribute to a social insurance fund.
The public holidays observed in Hanoi and the rest of Vietnam are as follow (dates based on 2016):
|January 01||New Year’s Day|
|February 06-12||Lunar New Year|
|April 16-18||Hung King’s Commemoration Day|
|April 30||Reunification Day|
|May 01-03||Labour Day|
|September 02||National Day|
Vietnam has a progressive tax system where higher taxes are imposed on higher income. If you’re a foreign non-resident, you’re taxed a flat rate of 20%. Otherwise, the following tax rate table applies to you:
|Taxable income per year (in Vietnamese dong)||Personal Income Tax (PIT) rate (in %)|
|960,000,001 and above||35|
You should also know that residents, locals or foreign, are liable to pay tax on income earned within and without Vietnam, subject to exemptions. You’re a resident, for tax purposes, if:
- You spend a total of 183 days or more in Vietnam within a 12-month period; or
- You maintain residence in Vietnam; or
- You’ve leased a residential property for 90 days or more in a tax year.
If you don’t fall under these categories, you’re a non-resident alien for tax purposes.
Hanoi is Vietnam’s centre of commerce. Most jobs for expats are found in the capital. Global banks, investment companies, foreign retailer brands and international schools are based in Hanoi. You can hunt for job vacancies via embassies or consulates, business magazines, newspapers and online job platforms. You can also visit expat forums for tips on where to search.
It’s worth noting, however, that employers are required by law to prioritise Vietnamese. If companies, including foreign-owned, need to hire foreigners, they need to secure approval from authorities.
One area you should explore is teaching. English teachers are in demand in Hanoi and other parts of Vietnam. Although the pay may not afford you a luxurious villa in the West Lake District, it’ll be sufficient to live comfortably in the country. Check out the following links for the latest job opportunities for English teachers:
Working in a foreign country is a truly rewarding experience. More than boosting your credentials, you get first-hand experience of a foreign culture, meet new people and deepen your knowledge on diversity.
In Vietnam, as with most Asian societies, the concept of face is of utmost importance. One’s reputation, dignity and prestige is valued so much that confrontations are frowned upon whether in the business or social setting. As a foreigner, it’s imperative that you choose your words well when dealing with co-workers and subordinates.
Hierarchical structures are embedded into Asian societies including in Vietnam. Seniority is highly respected. Status is also regarded well. You will notice this even in social events where the eldest is greeted or served first.
When dealing with Vietnamese co-workers, avoid personal contact such as touching one’s head or shoulder. If you need to give your criticisms, do so privately. Vietnamese are highly punctual people so manage your time well. During meetings, always dress conservatively. If you wish to give clients gifts, keep them simple and inexpensive.
Know more about Hanoi, Vietnam with our relocation guide for expatriates:
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