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Expectations for Tet bonuses low this yearMany labourers do not have high hopes for Tet bonuses this year, considering that many of them have not even received their salaries from previous months.

Tu Khai Trung, director of a trading and construction company, said his firm has signed only three contracts so far this year and have not received payment, leaving them unable to pay their employees.

“We hope that we can pay salaries before Tet, but we don’t even dare to mention Tet bonuses,” Trung added.

Since beginning of the year, Nguyen Duc An has only received  three months of his salary. Still, he considers himself lucky because his company provides daily meals and accommodation.

According to a report from VietnamWorks, so far this year the number of labourers in the real estate sector has dropped by 50%, and construction sector was down by 49%. Labour experts said this year the construction sector has seen the largest rate of unemployment in recent memory, and also owed the most to social insurance.

Tet bonuses depend on businesses’ profits. Meanwhile, the State has policies to support labourers with delayed salary payment due to their company bankruptcy. For companies which face difficulties, Tet bonuses are based on the negotiation between managers and the staff members.

Banks also face difficulties

A recent survey by Towers Watson indicated that the financial sector has been seeing a high rate of overturn, at 16% in 2012, while for the retail sector is at 7%. The salary increases in the financial and banking sectors was estimated at 12.2% this year, the lowest among the surveyed industries.

Towers Watson forecast that the retail industry might see a salary increase of 14% in 2013, compared to this year. Meanwhile, salaries in the finance and banking industry will still remain low, at 12.1%.

Next year is forecast to be a difficult one for labourers. Around 29% of enterprises are not planning on recruiting new staff, and 3% will make cuts. Only 68% of companies will recruit more new staff members against the rate of 75% in 2012.

Several bank leaders said it is too early to talk about Tet bonuses, but said that any bonuses will likely be modest.

Nguyen Thanh Toai, General Deputy Director of ACB, said in spite of many difficulties the bank will still offer Tet bonuses for its staff members.

Governor of State Bank of Vietnam, Nguyen Van Binh, has instructed banks that they should only provide bonuses if they have enough capital to ensure profits and deal with bad debt.

(Dai Doan Ket)

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