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Legal regulations on labor discipline in Vietnam

Labor discipline is a system of deterrent sanctions so that employees can comply with the labor rules set by the enterprise, thereby working and producing effectively to serve the development of the enterprise and country. Therefore, when employees violate discipline at work, they will be punished for their violation according to the Labor Code and the labor regulations of the enterprise. In the following article, ASL LAW will present the legal regulations on labor discipline in Vietnam.

According to the provisions of Article 117, Section 1, Chapter VIII of the 2019 Labor Code No. 45/2019/QH14 (“Labor Code 2019”), labor discipline is the regulations on compliance with time, technology, and conditions of production and business practices promulgated by the employer in the internal labor regulations and prescribed by law.

When promulgating labor regulations, employers need to clearly specify provisions on violations of labor discipline by employees and forms of labor discipline, as well as competent persons with the right to handle labor discipline.

When the employee has read and understood the labor regulations and has no opinion on the contents of the internal regulation mechanism, the employee is responsible for complying with the labor regulations, including regulations on labor discipline.

If the employee violates the labor discipline, the employer is responsible for carrying out the procedures for handling labor discipline according to the labor regulations, absolutely not arbitrarily implementing sanctions aimed at the employees’ benefits such as salary deduction, cut, late payment, etc.

Principles of handling labor discipline

Clauses 1, 2, and 3, Article 122 of the Labor Code 2019 provide for the principles of labor discipline as follows:

a) The employer must prove the fault of the employee;

b) The labor discipline must involve the employee’s representative organization at the establishment of which the employee being disciplined is a member;

c) The employee must be present and have the right to defend himself/herself, or ask a lawyer or the employee’s representative organization to defend; in case the person is under 15 years old, the legal representative must be present;

d) The handling of labor discipline must be recorded in writing.

In which, it should be noted that the employer is not allowed to apply many forms of labor discipline. If there are many violations corresponding to different levels of labor discipline, only the highest form of labor discipline will be applied corresponding to the heaviest violation.

Cases where the employee is temporarily suspended from handling labor discipline

Clause 4, Article 122 of the Labor Code 2019 provides for cases of temporary suspension of labor discipline, including employees who are:

a) Sick leave, convalescence; leave with the consent of the employer;

b) Being held in custody or temporary detention;

c) Waiting for the results of the competent investigating agency to verify and conclude the violation;

d) Pregnant female employees; employees taking maternity leave, raising children under 12 months old.

It should be noted that the above cases are only temporarily suspended. When the employees cease their special status such as having given birth to a child, they will continue to be handled for discipline.

In addition, employees who violate labor discipline while suffering from mental illness or another disease that make them lose the ability to perceive or control their behavior will not be subject to trial for labor disciplinary violations in Vietnam.

Statute of limitations for handling labor discipline

According to Article 123 of the Labor Code 2019, the statute of limitations for handling labor discipline is 06 months from the date of occurrence of the violation. In case the violation is directly related to finance, property, disclosure of technology secrets, or the business secret of the employer, the statute of limitations for handling labor discipline is 12 months.

Upon the expiration of the time limit for suspending the handling of labor discipline for an employee in a particular condition as indicated above, if the statute of limitations expires or the statute of limitations for handling labor discipline is still available (6 months or 12 months) but the remaining time is less than 60 days, the statute of limitations for disciplinary action for such case will be extended but not exceeding 60 days from the date of expiry of the above time limit.

Forms of handling labor discipline

Forms of labor discipline include:

1. Reprimand.

2. Extend the time limit for a salary increase to no more than 06 months.

3. Resignation.

4. Dismissal.

ASL LAW is the top-tier Vietnam law firm for Employment and Labor Law. If you need any advice, please contact us for further information or collaboration.


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