Currently, the Labour Code and the guiding documents do not have specific regulations as to whether the probationary salary paid to the Employee may be lower than the area minimum wage. The Labour Code only prescribes that the probationary salary is agreed upon by the two parties but must be at least comparable to 85% of the salary of the job.
On the other hand, Article 5.1 of Decree 90/2019/NĐ-CP dated 15 November 2019 regulates the area minimum wage as follows:
“1. The area minimum wages prescribed in Article 3 of this Decree is the lowest level that serves as a basis for the enterprise and the Employee to reach any arrangement and pay wages, in which the wage is paid to the Employee working in normal working conditions provided that they ensure enough monthly working time and complete the agreed labour norms or jobs. The area minimum wage must make sure:
a) Not to be lower than the area minimum wage for the Employee doing the simplest jobs;
b) At least 7% higher than the area minimum wage for the Employee doing the jobs requiring vocational training and education under Clause 2 of this Article.”
Pursuant to this provision, it can be understood that the area minimum wage is the lowest wage promulgated by the Government for the purpose of ensuring the minimum and basic life of the Employee that does the simplest jobs. Therefore, the Employee’s probationary salary can be at least 85% of the salary of his or her job, but not lower than the area minimum wage as prescribed above.