From 2021, how should enterprises issue internal labor regulations so as not to be penalized in accordance with Vietnam’s regulations?

Enterprises having at least 10 employees must issue their own internal labor regulations. Thus, how should enterprises issue internal labor regulations so as not to be penalized in accordance with Vietnam’s regulations?

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According to Article 69 of the Decree No. 145/2020/NĐ-CP of Vietnam’s Government, internal labor regulations prescribed in Article 118 of the Labor Code 2019 of Vietnam are elaborated as follows:

First: Every employer shall issue their own internal labor regulations. An employer that has at least 10 employees shall have written internal labor regulations. 

Written regulations are not required if the employer has fewer than 10 employees but labor discipline and material responsibility must be included in the contents of the employment contracts.

Second: The labor regulations must not contradict labor laws and relevant laws. Primary contents of labor regulations include:

- Specific working hours, rest periods:

Specific working hours, rest periods in 01 day, 01 week; work shifts; beginning and ending time of shifts; overtime work (if any); special cases of overtime work; extra rest breaks; breaks between shifts; weekly days off; annual leave, personal leave, unpaid leave;

- Workplace order: 

Work area, movement during working hours; code of conduct; dress code; compliance to job assignment by the employer;

- Occupational hygiene and safety in the workplace:

Responsibility to comply with rules and regulations, procedures and measures for assurance of occupational hygiene, occupational safety and fire safety; use and preservation of personal safety equipment and other equipment serving assurance of occupational hygiene and safety at the workplace; cleaning, decontamination and disinfection at the workplace;

- Preventing and combating sexual harassment in the workplace; procedures for taking actions against sexual harassment in the workplace:

The employer’s regulations on preventing and combating sexual harassment shall be included in the labor regulations or issued as an appendix to the labor regulations and have the following primary contents:

+ Sexual harassment in the workplace is prohibited;

+ Detailed and specific descriptions of that are considered sexual harassment in the workplace according to the characteristics of the works and the workplace;

+ Responsibility, deadline and procedures for responding to sexual harassment in the workplace, including those for filing and settling complaints and accusations, and relevant regulations;

+ Disciplinary actions against perpetrators of sexual harassment and false accusations, which depend on the nature and seriousness of the offence;

+ Compensation for victims and remedial measures.

- Protection of the employer’s assets, business secrets, technological secrets and intellectual property: 

A list of assets, documents, technological secrets, business secrets, intellectual property; responsibility, measures for protection thereof; definition of infringements upon these assets and secrets.

- Specific cases in which employees may be temporarily reassigned against their employment contracts according to Clause 1 Article 29 of the Labor Code 2019 of Vietnam;

- Specific employees’ violations and corresponding disciplinary actions;

- Material responsibility: 

Cases in which the employee has to pay compensation for causing damage to or losing tools, instruments or assets; exceeding material consumption limits; compensation levels in proportion to the damage caused; persons having the power to claim compensation.

Persons having the power to take disciplinary actions: persons having the power to conclude employment contracts on behalf of the employer as prescribed in Clause 3 Article 18 of the Labor Code 2019 of Vietnam or specific persons specified in the internal labor regulations.

Third: Before issuing or revising the internal labor regulations, the employer shall consult with the internal employee representative organization (if any).

Fourth: The issued labor regulations shall be sent to every internal employee representative organization (if any) and all employees. Primary contents of internal labor regulations shall be publicly posted where necessary at the workplace.

Thus, enterprises having at least 10 employees must issue their own internal labor regulations and consult with the internal employee representative organization (if any). The internal labor regulations must contain the primary contents specified above.

Enterprises that do not comply with regulations on labor regulations shall be fined up to VND 15 million according to Article 18 of the Decree No. 28/2020/NĐ-CP of Vietnam’s Government, specifically as follows:

- Fines ranging from VND 500,000 to VND 1,000,000 shall be imposed upon employers that fail to publicly notify or display main contents of labor rules at necessary sites at the workplace.

- Imposing fines ranging from VND 5,000,000 to VND 10,000,000 on employers that commit one of the following violations:

+ Failing to put written labor rules in use if they use at least 10 employees;

+ Failing to register labor rules with regulatory labor authorities at the provincial level;

+ Using labor rules that have not yet been in effect or has become null and void;

- Fines ranging from VND 10,000,000 to VND 15,000,000 shall be imposed upon employers that discipline employees who commit violations that are not prescribed in labor rules. Therefore, businesses need to comply with the above regulations to avoid penalties in accordance with Vietnam’s regulations from 2021.


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