Businesses want Tet holidays to be earlier, longer

By Anh Minh, Vien Thong   September 5, 2022 | 08:49 pm PT
Businesses want Tet holidays to be earlier, longer
People buy flower during Tet holiday on January 31, 2022 in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
An earlier start to the 2023 Vietnamese Lunar New Year and a longer break are needed to ensure workers can travel to their hometowns and families, businesses have said.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs is soliciting opinions about its two alternative proposals for the country’s most important festival, which falls in January.

One of them is for holidays from January 20 to 26, a seven-day break starting two days before the New Year.

The other is for January 21-29, starting just one day before the New Year.

But many companies have said that in both cases the start is too late, which does not give people enough time to travel.

Pham Quang Anh, founder and CEO of garment company Dony, said he always lets his employees leave six days before the Lunar New Year.

The few days before New Year’s Eve is important to many people since this is when they shop for the festival and decorate their homes, deriving even more fun that from the festival itself, he said.

Of course, for this, managers and employees need to have clear discussions about how the latter would make up at work.

The CEO of a Hanoi garment company that employs more than 10,000 people, who asked not to be named, said workers should be allowed to leave two or three days before the New Year.

"We usually let those who live far away leave three days early, while those in Hanoi will get off later."

A recent online survey by VnExpress found that 95% of over 4,000 respondents want the Tet holidays to begin on January 19, three days before the New Year.

Businesses also want a nine-day rather than seven-day break.

Tran Van Thanh, CEO of transport company Quang Thanh, pointed out that if the holidays begin on January 20 and end on the 26th (Thursday), people have to travel all the way back from their hometown just to work on Friday before the weekend comes around.

"This disrupts the holidays, which should be continuous."

Besides, workers would just take Friday off to enjoy longer interrupted holidays, he pointed out further.

Tran Bao Ngoc, CEO of logistics firm InterLOG, said, "A continuous nine-day break will give employees more time with their family, and they will return to work in better spirits."

Nguyen Le Quoc Tuan, CEO of food processor Song Huong Foods, said he has been giving his 200 employees a 13-day holiday for years.

"There is usually not a lot of work at this time, and so a longer break makes employees extremely happy."

Another online survey by VnExpress of 24,000 respondents found that 47% wanted a nine-day holiday and 39% wanted "a longer break than nine days."

Only 14% opted for a seven-day holiday.

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