Understanding Salary Scales: Mandatory Guidelines under Vietnamese Labor Laws


In Vietnam, salary scales play a crucial role in the employment landscape, serving as a structured framework for determining fair and equitable compensation for employees. These scales are not just a common practice but are also mandatory under Vietnamese labor laws. Understanding the significance and legal requirements of salary scales can lead to better employee-employer relationships and compliance with the country’s labor regulations.

The Importance of Salary Scales

A salary scale is a system that sets out different pay levels based on various factors such as job roles, qualifications, experience, and responsibilities within an organization. These scales provide a transparent and objective approach to remuneration, ensuring that employees are compensated fairly and in line with their skills and contributions to the company.

By implementing salary scales, companies can promote a positive work environment and boost employee morale. Workers are more likely to feel motivated, appreciated, and committed to their roles when they believe they are being compensated fairly and equitably.

Legal Basis: Vietnam Labor Laws

The legal basis for the mandatory implementation of salary scales in Vietnam can be found in the Labor Code, which was last revised in 2019. Article 94 of the Labor Code explicitly states that employers must establish salary scales based on the complexity and difficulty of the work, work conditions, and labor market conditions. This ensures that workers receive fair wages that are commensurate with the value they bring to their roles.

Under the Labor Code, salary scales must be publicly posted in the workplace, providing transparency and accessibility to all employees. This allows workers to have a clear understanding of their salary, potential career progression, and the requirements to move up the scale.

Compliance and Penalties

It is vital for employers to strictly adhere to the labor laws concerning salary scales in Vietnam. Failure to establish and follow the required scales can lead to severe penalties, including fines and other legal consequences. Non-compliance can damage the company’s reputation, result in labor disputes, and negatively impact employee motivation and productivity.

Exceptions and Flexibility

While salary scales are mandatory in Vietnam, there is some flexibility in how employers structure them. Companies can customize salary scales to suit their specific needs, industry standards, and company size. However, these customized scales must still comply with the principles outlined in the Labor Code, ensuring fairness and equality for all workers.

Additionally, in cases where an employee’s performance significantly exceeds expectations, companies have the option to provide bonuses and incentives on top of the standard salary scale. These additional rewards should be clearly communicated to the workforce to maintain transparency and avoid any misunderstandings.


In conclusion, salary scales are an indispensable part of the employment framework in Vietnam. They provide an objective and transparent way to determine fair compensation for employees based on their roles, qualifications, and contributions to the company. Adherence to the legal requirements of salary scales not only ensures compliance with labor laws but also fosters a positive work environment, motivating employees and promoting long-term growth and success for businesses. By upholding these mandatory guidelines, employers can create a harmonious and productive workforce that benefits both the employees and the organization as a whole.

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