I. IS THE 2% TRADE UNION DUES MANDATORY?
According to Decree 191/2013/ND-CP dated November 21, 2013 on detailed regulations on trade union finance, the beneficiaries of trade union dues as prescribed in Clause 2, Article 26 of the Law on Trade Union are agencies, organizations and enterprises, regardless of whether such agencies, organizations or enterprises have or do not have a grassroots trade union.
Thus, even if the company does not establish a grassroots trade union, it still has to pay the trade union dues (2%) as prescribed above.
Payment rates and bases for paying trade union dues:
According to Article 5 of Decree 191/2013/ND-CP stipulating: the level of contribution to trade union dues is 2% of the salary fund as the basis for paying social insurance premiums for employees. Salary fund is the total salary of employees who are subject to social insurance contributions in accordance with the law on social insurance.
Method of payment of union dues:
Organizations and enterprises pay trade union dues once a month at the same time as paying compulsory social insurance premiums for employees.
II. IS IT MANDATORY TO ESTABLISH A GRASSROOTS TRADE UNION IN THE COMPANY?
Pursuant to Article 6 of the Law on Trade Union 2012 stipulates as follows:
“Article 6. Principle of Trade Union organization and operation
1. The Trade Unions shall be established in the voluntary basis, organized and operated under the principle of democratic centralism..
2. The Trade Unions shall be organized and operated under the Charter of Vietnamese Trade Union in accordance with lines, guidelines, policies of the Party and law of the State.”
Thus, the establishment of a trade union in the company is on a voluntary basis, the company is not required to establish a trade union.
III. ARE EMPLOYEES ALLOWED TO JOIN TRADE UNIONS?
According to Guide No. 03/HD-TLD dated February 20, 2020 of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor on the implementation of the Vietnam Trade Union Charter, the subjects joining the Vietnam Trade Union are Vietnamese people who work as salaried employees in employers’ units that are operating legally in accordance with Vietnamese law, including:
Cadres, civil servants, public employees and employees working in non-business units; Salaried employees working in units, enterprises, cooperatives; Employees working in representative offices of foreign organizations, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations in Vietnam;
Freelance and legal workers in the informal labor sector, if they wish, may join the Vietnam Trade Union and live in the form of a grassroots trade union; Employees who are appointed by competent authorities as representatives to manage the State’s capital, holding leadership and management positions in non-state non-business units, enterprises outside the state sector and foreign-invested sector.
In addition, Guide No. 03/HD-TLD of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor states that the subjects who are not admitted to the Vietnam Trade Union are: Foreigners working in Vietnam; Employees working as managers in enterprises outside the state sector; Principals, directors; vice-principals, deputy directors authorized to manage the unit or sign labor contracts in non-business units outside the state sector; Members in agricultural cooperatives; Persons who are serving prison sentences according to court decisions.
Thus, foreign workers working in Vietnam are not admitted to trade unions and are not union members. And of course, foreign workers working in Vietnam will not have to pay union dues.
IV. DOES THE ENTERPRISE HAVE TO PAY UNION DUES ON THE SALARY PAID FOR SOCIAL INSURANCE FOR FOREIGN WORKERS?
According to Clause 2, Article 26 of the Law on Trade Union in 2012, the trade union fund paid by agencies, organizations and enterprises is equal to 2% of the salary fund as the basis for paying social insurance premiums for employees.
On the other hand, in Clause 1, Article 2 of Decree No. 143/2018/ND-CP dated October 15, 2018 of the Government, employers employing foreign workers who are subject to compulsory social insurance participation in accordance with law, the employer is responsible for paying trade union dues.
Thus, if enterprises employ foreign workers, they will still pay union dues according to the salary paid for social insurance.