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Decree No. 27/2014/ND-CP detailing a number of articles of the Labour Code on domestic workers
Updated at: 26/11/2014

Domestic worker came into existence long ago and tends to become an increasingly popular job in recent years in Vietnam as well as in other countries around the world. This is a particular job with special working conditions. This job is mostly occupied by women and girls, and the majority of them are workers coming to cities from rural areas with limited educational level and job skills. Hence, they are vulnerable to discriminations in terms of employment, working conditions or other forms of abuse.

The Labour Code 2012 was adopted by the National Assembly Legislature XIII Session 3 on 18 June 2012 and has taken effect since 01 May 2013. It stipulates 5 articles (from Article 179 to Article 183)on domestic workers, domestic work, labour contracts that are concluded in writing, forms and timeline of wage payment, working hours, accommodation and obligations of the employee, obligations of the employer, the strictly prohibited acts for the employer.

Derived from the particularities of domestic workers, on 7 April 2014, the Government issued Decree No. 27/2014/ND-CP detailing a number of articles of the Labour Code on domestic workers. This Decree has become effective since 25 May 2014.
Decree No. 27/2014/ND-CP is composed of 7 chapters and 29 articles. According to the Decree, the Decree is applicable to the domestic workers who regularly do the housework in one or multiple households; and other work not related to commercial activities such as cooking for the household members, but not selling food in the household’s restaurant, etc. The Decree is in accordance with the actual situation, market mechanism, guarantee of human rights, non-discrimination between male workers and female workers, vulnerable workers with other groups of worker, in particular:

First, regarding the Labour Contract, the Decree defines that the parties engaged in concluding the contract include the employer and the employee. The Labour Contract shall be signed in writing and contain the key contents on the work to be assumed, working location, wage range, modes and timeline for wage payment, hours of work, rest periods, labour protection equipment, conditions of the employee’s meals and lodging; responsibility for compensation in case of causing damage to tools, equipment and strictly prohibited acts; the employee is eligible for unilateral termination of the labour contract without a prior notice if the employer or any household member mistreats, humiliates or offends the employee’s honour and dignity, commits sexual harassment, uses force or coercion of labour against him or her.
 
Second, regarding wage range, the Decree specifies the wage range (including meals and lodging expenses of the employee living in the employer’s house if any) shall not be lower than the Government prescribed minimum wage range by region.
In cases where the employer requires the employee to work overtime, longer than the time stated in the labour contract, i.e. working on holidays, Tet holidays, paid holidays, the employer must pay overtime wage rate as prescribed.
 
Third, regarding social insurance, health insurance, the Decree stipulates that at the same time with the employee’s wage payment period, the employer is responsible for making an additional payment equal to the rate of payment for compulsory social insurance, health insurance premiums under the employer’s responsibility under statutory provisions on social insurance, health insurance so that the employee can pay for his/her own insurance premiums.
In cases where the live-in employee is sick or ill, the employer shall facilitate the employee’s rest, medical examination and treatment. The employer is not obliged to pay for the days when the employee is absent from work due to illness or disease.
 
Fourth, regulations on hours of work, rest periods, for the live-in employee, hours of work, rest periods shall be mutually agreed upon between the two parties, but the employee must have at least 8 hours, including 6 hours of continuous rest during 24 consecutive hours.
Hours of work for the employees who are minor of full 15 years to under 18 years old shall not exceed 8 hours in 1 day and 40 hours in one week; the hours of work for the employees under 15 years old shall not exceed 4 hours in 1 day and 20 hours in one week and working overtime or working at night is not permitted.
Each week, the employee is entitled to have at least 24 consecutive hours off work. In cases of failure to accommodate this off-work time, the employer must be responsible for ensuring that the employee is entitled to at least 4 days off work each month on average. The employee who has worked for full 12 months for the same employer shall be entitled to annual leave of 12 working days with full payment. The periods of annual leave shall be mutually agreed upon between the two parties. The employee is entitled to fully paid leaves during prescribed holidays and Tet holidays (Vietnamese New Year).
 
Fifth, regarding occupational safety and health, the Decree stipulates that the employer shall have the responsibility to give instructions to the employee on how to use equipment, machinery and tools related to the employee's work, on fire prevention measures; to equip the employee with personal protective equipment during the working process; to arrange for the employee’s periodical health check-up. The employee must hold the responsibility to abide by the guidelines on how to use equipment, machinery, tools and fire prevention regulations. He/she should ensure the environmental sanitation requirements of the households and population at the residential site.
 
Sixth, the Decree specifies the responsibility of the People's Committee in receiving the notice on the use of labour and termination of labour contracts with a domestic worker; denouncing to the People's Committees of communes, wards or townships when an employer commits acts of abuse, sexual harassment, forced labour or other acts in violation of law.
The advent of Decree No. 27/2014/ND-CP has marked an important turning point for domestic workers. The Decree is an important legal corridor to protect employees (mostly women and girls) when they are engaged in labour relationships. In particular, the introduction of this Decree has changed the awareness of the employee, the employer and the whole society on the role of domestic workers, helping to recognize domestic worker as a profession, the same as other professions.


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