by Nguyen Kim Trang, Legal Assistant
|According to the above-mentioned regulations, juvenile domestic servants must not be under 15 years old and must have the written consent of their legal guardian when entering into the labour contract with any household. — File Photo
The small-scale and individual activities of domestic servants do not seem to elicit much government concern or special legislations, though they have existed in Viet Nam for a long time.
However, as of the effective date of the new Labour Code (May 1, 2013), such work has begun to be officially recognised and recorded by the laws. Consequently, Decree No 27/2014/ND-CP, which regulates domestic servants, and Circular 19/2014/TT-BLDTBXH that guides this decree have been enacted for this working class.
According to the above-mentioned regulations, juvenile domestic servants must not be under 15 years old and must have the written consent of their legal guardian when entering into the labour contract with any household. In case a labour contract is entered into by an illiterate servant, the employer must read the contents of such labour contract for him/her to hear before the servant signs by putting his/her fingerprint's impression on the contract. The illiterate servant may request a third person who is not a member of the employer's household to act as a witness.
In general, such labour contracts must have the following main contents:
Personal and necessary information (such as the special characteristics of the members and their living conditions) of the parties;
Information about the work (the scope and place of work; terms of contract; working hours and rest breaks);
Wages and bonuses (if any);
Social insurance and health insurance;
Protective equipment for the servant, and the conditions regarding meals and accommodation (if any) for the worker;
Travelling expenses for the worker to return home on termination of the labour contract at the agreed time;
Time off and the amount of expenses by way of support for the servant to undertake academic studies or trade training (if any);
Liability to pay compensation as a result of causing loss and damage to equipment or as a result of other conduct causing loss and damage to the assets of the employer; and,
Conduct strictly prohibited for both parties.
Within 10 days from the date of execution of the labour contract, the employer's household has to notify the local People's Committee at the ward level about the domestic servant's recruitment, and also about the termination of the contract.
The wage must not be less than the minimum area wage rates announced by the government. Additionally, the meal allowances and accommodation costs (if any) must be included, and must not exceed 50 per cent of the wage amount if the servant lives with the employer.
The amount of deduction from the monthly wage, in the case of compensation for damages or losses caused by the servants, must not exceed 30 per cent of the monthly wage, if the employee does not live with the employer's household; and no more than 60 per cent after deducting the monthly meal and accommodation allowance (if any), if the employee lives with the employer's household.
The employer must let the domestic servant rest for at least eight hours, of which six hours must be consecutive hours, within any one 24-hour period; and allow a break of at least 24 consecutive hours per week or at least four (4) days off in any one month.