National Wage Conference on Viet Nam Wage Policy in the context of a market economy and economic integration

Two-day conference aiming at promoting improved wage policy and practice in Viet Nam in the context of evolving labour market governance and deepening economic integration

As Viet Nam enters more fully into regional and global economic integration, it is crucial that wage fixing and wage adjustment policies and practices are strengthened to find the right balance between promoting and encouraging sustainable enterprises and also providing workers a fair share of enterprise productivity gains.

Since its establishment last year, the Vietnam National Wage Council (NWC) has made some achievements. Workers’ and employers’ organizations have started participating actively in developing minimum wage adjustment proposals with consideration of both social and economic criteria and negotiating over regional minimum wage rates.

This first year’s work of the NWC has also highlighted the need for more reliable evidence based data that would help the Council members reach greater consensus and make more informed recommendations. This includes a better understanding of impacts of minimum wage decisions on both enterprises and workers and reaching consensus on estimating minimum living needs of workers and their families.

In addition, developing more effective and fairer processes of wage adjustment for workers above the minimum wage is an issue of key importance to the development of sound industrial relations and the economy in Viet Nam. The need to improve and expand wage negotiation through real collective bargaining at a range of levels is a significant current challenge.

Followings are some of the key questions to be addressed for best results:

Workers’ key questions:
How to achieve fair and just wage increases for those workers receiving both minimum wages and wages higher than the regional minimum wage? How to fairly measure minimum living needs of workers in the NWC considerations? How to improve trade union and employer capacity, structure and commitment to negotiate higher wages for those workers as a core element of collective bargaining?
Employers' key questions:
How to cope with increasing labour costs? How to raise productivity, competitiveness and profit to enable payment of higher wages?
Governments’ key questions:
How to protect under-paid workers? How to create conditions that would help enterprises, especially SMEs increase productivity, competitiveness, wages and improve firms’ performance under the context of deeper integration?

This two-day conference will bring together experiences from the key industrial relations actors in Viet Nam, international ILO specialists and data from other countries in the region, to provide timely inputs for policy makers and practitioners to continue to improve the policy framework regarding wage adjustment in Viet Nam.

Key objectives of the conference:

• Provide an overview of wage trends globally and in the Asia region and understand impacts of regional and global integration for Vietnam;
• To assess the impacts of minimum wages on firms’ performance, links to productivity and methods for determining minimum living needs of workers;
• To assess current trends in collective bargaining and explore ways to promote collective bargaining on wages;


Sandra Polaski
Deputy Director - General
International Labour Organization   
Pham Minh Huan
Vice Minister
Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs

For the Conference's Agenda, click here.