A new minimum wage band for workers, which will be up to 300,000 VND (14 USD) more than the current rate per month, will be applied from January 2013.

The country now has different wage brackets covering four regional zones, ranked according to the level of socio-economic development in each zone.

Zone One covers urban Hanoi and HCM City. Zone Two covers rural Hanoi and HCM City along with urban Can Tho, Da Nang and Hai Phong. Zone Three covers provincial cities and the districts of Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, Hai Duong, and Vinh Phuc. Zone Four covers the remaining localities.

The move will set the monthly minimum wage at 2.35 million VND (111 USD) for Zone 1, 2.1 million VND (100 USD) for Zone 2, 1.8 million VND (86 USD) for Zone 3 and 1.65 million VND (78.5 USD) for Zone 4.

The wage is applicable to labourers working for enterprises, co-operatives, farms, households, individuals, and organisations.

Wage scale and other allowances set forth by enterprises should be based on the minimum wage, according to the decree.

The wage paid to a vocational trainee must exceed the minimum wage for the zone by at least 7 percent, and enterprises are encouraged to pay wages higher than the minimum wage. According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the current wage level provides for only around 60 percent of workers' basic demands.

The adjusted band will apply from January 1./.VNA