HANOI : Vietnam plans to raise its minimum wage by 6per cent from July to help workers weather the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said on Tuesday.
Under the plan, pending approval from the prime minister, the minimum monthly wage would be raised to between 3.25 million dong and 4.68 million dong ($142.00-$204.47), the government said in a statement.
This would be the first minimum wage hike in two years in the Southeast Asian country, which is a regional manufacturing powerhouse with a population of 98 million, according to the statement.
"A proportion of labourers are facing difficulties due to the pandemic, and therefore an increase in the minimum salary at this time is needed to help them stabilise their life and stay with their employers," head of Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, Ngo Duy Hieu, said in the statement.
Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represents businesses in the country, said firms would try to increase their productivity to help fund the wage hike, according to the statement.
Vietnam, a key labour-intensive manufacturing hub for such products as garment and footwear, reported gross domestic product growth of 5.03per cent in the first quarter, beating the 4.72per cent expansion recorded in the first quarter last year but down from 5.22per cent in the fourth quarter.
($1 = 22,888 dong)
(Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Alex Richardson)