Vietnam: Basic contents of seafarers’ employment agreements

This is an important content prescribed in Decree No. 121/2014/NĐ-CP of Vietnam’s Government elaborating certain articles of the Maritime Labour Convention in 2006 with respect to conditions of employment of seafarers working on board ships.

Currently, before a seafarer works on board a ship, a seafarers' employment agreement must be signed by both the seafarer and the shipowner. If the shipowner cannot personally sign the seafarers’ employment agreement, he/she may authorize in writing his/her representative to sign the seafarers’ employment agreement.

The conclusion, authorization and performance of the seafarers’ employment agreement shall conform to the Labor Code, regulations of Decree No. 121/2014/NĐ-CP of Vietnam’s Government and relevant documents.

hop dong thuyen vien, nghi dinh 121/2014/NĐ-CP

In addition to primary contents prescribed in the Labor Code, a seafarers’ employment agreement must include the following contents:

- The seafarer’s entitlement to repatriation;

- Accident insurance;

- The amount of paid annual leave;

- Conditions of termination of the seafarers’ employment agreement.

The seafarers’ employment agreement, its appendixes and relevant documents must be prepared in Vietnamese and English, and shall have the same legal effect.


- “Shipowner” means the owner of the ship or another organization or individual who has assumed the responsibility for the operation of the ship from the owner and has agreed to take over the duties and responsibilities imposed on the shipowner, regardless of whether any other organization or individual fulfills certain of the duties or responsibilities on behalf of the shipowner.

- “Seafarer” means any person who is employed or engaged to work in any capacity on board a ship upon his/her satisfaction of relevant requirements and standards as regulated by laws.

View more details at Decree No. 121/2014/NĐ-CP of Vietnam’s Government, effective from March 01, 2015.

Thu Ba


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