Vietnam has too few long holidays

By Truong Quang Nhat   May 6, 2023 | 04:43 pm PT
Vietnam has too few long holidays
A family enjoy splashing water at each other at Sam Son beach in Thanh Hoa Province during the holiday, April 30, 2023. Photo by Tung Dinh
After the 5-day holiday period for April 30 and May 1, Vietnamese people have to wait until September 2 and then the New Year for holidays that last longer than a weekend.

China has three long public holidays: Lunar New Year, National Day, and Labor Day.

Each of these holidays lasts from 5 to 7 days, providing an opportunity for domestic travel. These three long holidays are evenly distributed throughout the year (in February, May, and October). In other words, people work hard for about 3-4 months, and then get a chance to rest.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has one of the lowest numbers of holiday days, and the allocation of holidays is unreasonable.

For example, after this 5-day holiday period for April 30 - May 1, Vietnamese people have to wait until September 2 to have another holiday, and then they have to work again until the New Year. Both of these holidays are also very short (only about 2-3 days).

That means, for eight months (from May to January of the following year), Vietnamese people will not have any holidays longer than 4 days. This is clearly a drawback because workers have to work continuously for the last four months of the year without a chance to visit their families. If anyone wants to go home, they have to use their annual leave days. Meanwhile, the chain of holidays from Lunar New Year, Hung Kings Commemoration Day which usually falls in April, and April 30 - May 1 are too close together.

Making workers work continuously for eight long months without any 4–5-day holidays to recharge is not beneficial. Workers will become exhausted, and the consumer and service economy will not receive any significant boost.

Here, I am sharing my views as a private business owner, not as a salaried worker demanding their rights. And please don't argue with me by saying "if you want to take a break, then just let your own company take a break." Because it's not that simple. If we allow arbitrary breaks when the whole country is not on a break, customers will say we’re irresponsible.

Therefore, I propose that we need to increase the number of days off per year, especially by arranging more consecutive holidays over 5 days. Recently, National Day September 2 was extremely meaningful to each Vietnamese citizen. If workers are allowed to continuously take four days off (before, during, and after September 2), and if there's a weekend, then it will be fantastic to have five days off.

This could be considered the last major holiday of the year to help us rejuvenate and reenergize. This could help workers get into the best physical and mental state, so they can be ready to "fight" for the last three busiest months of the year – when labor productivity is most needed.

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