Vietnam Monthly Labor & Employment Law Update - January and February 2017
I. Online Administrative Procedures Applicable in the Field of Social Insurance
On 24 December 2016, the Government issued Decree No. 166/2016/ND-CP which introduces an online method to carry out administrative procedures in the field of social insurance, in particular social, health and unemployment insurance (SHUI). Several administrative procedures under this Decree can be listed out as: the grant of social insurance booklets and health insurance cards; the settlement of SHUI benefits; and communication with respect to the implementation of SHUI.
To be eligible to use this online method, the relevant parties (i.e. State agencies, organizations/individuals and providers of online services in the field of social insurance) must satisfy the following conditions:
(i) have a valid electronic certificate (in Vietnamese "chứng thư số") issued/authenticated by a competent institution; and
(ii) have Internet access and a stable e-mail address registered with Vietnam Social Insurance (VSI).
Under this Decree, parties can choose to participate in online administrative procedures in the field of social insurance either: (i) directly via the Vietnam Social Insurance Portal; or (ii) via an I-VAN (Insurance Value Added Network) service provider (an organization operating in the field of information technology that has contracts with the VSI to provide value-added services on SHUI, e.g. Viettel, VNPT, etc.)
This Decree also provides templates/forms for its implementation.
This Decree comes into effect from 01 March 2017.
II. Draft Circular on Online Work Permit Application Procedures Applicable to Foreigners Working in Vietnam
On 28 December 2016, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) promulgated a draft Circular detailing online work permit application procedures applicable to foreigners working in Vietnam (i.e. approval of requests to utilize foreign employees; issuance/re-issuance of work permits; and affirmation of work permit exemptions) (the Draft). Under this draft Circular, several notable provisions are as follows:
- The online work permit application procedures must be carried out via an account registered by the employer at this website: http://dvc.vieclamvietnam.gov.vn
- All written documents must be converted into electronic form. If such written documents are legally invalid, the respective electronic forms are also legally invalid.
- The online procedures take less time in comparison with existing paperbased procedures, specifically as below:
- Although the Draft specifies that an online work permit application is an option for the period of 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017 and mandatory from 1 July 2017 onwards, this Draft has not been officially issued and enforced. It seems that the MOLISA would like to propose an optional application method (either online or paper-based) for the first six months from the date on which the Draft is officially issued.
III. New Contribution Premium to the Labor Accident and Occupation Disease Fund
In the first week of 2017, MOLISA publicized a draft Decree prescribing the new contribution premium to the labor accident and occupation disease insurance fund. Accordingly, the new contribution premium is set at 0.5% of the salary fund used as the basis for the calculation of statutory social insurance contributions, which replaces the current contribution premium of 1%. Once this draft is officially issued, Employers' contribution rates will be reduced from 22% (consisting of 17% social insurance, 1% labor accident and occupation disease insurance, 3% health insurance, and 1% unemployment insurance) to 21.5% (consisting of 17% social insurance, 0.5% labor accident and occupation disease insurance, 3% health insurance and 1% unemployment insurance).
This contribution premium is intended to be applicable until 31 December 2019.
IV. Designated Exchange Rate of USD Versus VND Applicable to the Calculation of Social Insurance Contributions
On 06 January 2017, HCMC Social Insurance issued Official Letter No. 45/BHXH-QLT to all employers regarding a fixed exchange rate of USD versus VND, which will be applied to the calculation of social insurance contributions of employees whose salaries are paid in USD under their labor contracts. Accordingly, the designated exchange rate will be: USD1 = VND22,158, effective from 03 January 2017 and lasting for the first six months of 2017.
V. New List of Diseases that Require Long-Term Treatment in Accordance with the Law on Social Insurance
On 30 December 2016, the Ministry of Health issued Circular No. 46/2016/TT-BYT stipulating a list of 332 diseases that require long-term treatment in accordance with the Law on Social Insurance. Specifically, employees who suffer from diseases that require long-term treatment will be entitled to favorable entitlements under the Law on Social Insurance (e.g. more sick leave and more rehabilitation days off). This list will take effect from 01 March 2017 and will replace the list prescribed in Circular No. 14/2016/TT-BYT.
VI. Guidelines for the Declaration of Personal Income Tax Applicable to Non-Residents
On 10 January 2017, the General Department of Taxation promulgated Official Letter No. 102/TCT-TNCN regarding the implementation of personal income tax (PIT) in response to queries from the Hanoi Department of Taxation (Official Letter No. 102). Under this Official Letter No. 102, if a non-resident in Vietnam has inseparable incomes from many places (including both Vietnam and foreign countries) and has expenditures (e.g. travel allowances, airfare allowances, etc.) that are paid for by a Vietnamese entity during his/her time working in Vietnam, such expenditures will be subject to PIT. In this case, such non-resident is required to declare his/her PIT to the Department of Taxation where such Vietnamese entity is located.
VII. Procedures for the Declaration of Foreigners' Temporary Residence Information in Vietnam
On 28 December 2016, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) issued Circular No. 53/2016/TT-BCA stipulating procedures for the declaration and receipt of foreigners' temporary residence information in Vietnam. Specifically, foreigners entering Vietnam, their hosts or any persons responsible for declaring such foreigners' temporary residence information in Vietnam can choose either of the following declaration options:
- Filing the temporary residence information through an online account at the provincial level Immigration Department's website; or
- Filing the temporary residence information via declaration form No. NA17 under Circular No. 04/2015/TT-BCA and submitting the same form to the district-level Public Security.
This Circular takes effect on 15 February 2017.