Complaints > Vietnam > Schoffel Sportbekleidung GmbH, Complaint 413

Vietnam - Schoffel Sportbekleidung GmbH, Complaint 413

Status
Closed
Country
Vietnam
Date
06/02/2018
Complaint ID
413
Member involved
Schöffel Sportbekleidung GmbH
Filing party
Worker
Filed against
Supervisor, Factory management
Grounded

The case

The complainant's second 1-year-employment contract was due to expire on 30 June 2018. On 1 June 2018, the factory sent the complainant a written notice of non-renewal. The complainant was 4-month pregnant and had the following questions:
- Does the factory have the right to non-renew the contract of a pregnant worker?
- Is she entitled to maternity allowance if she had social insurance until June 2018?

FWF's complaints handler informed the complainant that:
1. According to Article 36 of the Labour Code of Vietnam, the employer is permitted not to renew a labour contract if it has been completed or has expired. The law does not specifically regulate that the employer must renew the contract in case the employee is pregnant.
2. The complainant is entitled to maternity allowance (paid by social insurance) if she was covered by social insurance until June 2018. According to Article 31.2 of Social Insurance Law, in order to receive maternity allowance, employees must have paid social insurance premiums for at least 6 full months within 12 months before childbirth.

On 4 June 2018, the complainant phoned the helpline again and stated:
1. The production manager told her to sign the termination form and stop her job immediately. She refused and went in to work the next morning. However, the production manager did not let her work and asked her to sign the termination form that was filled out by someone else. The HR officers also advised that she should stop her job. According to the complainant, she was isolated from the work floor with security guards around her and she was not able to call the FWF hotline. Then, she was forced to sign the termination form and eventually allowed to leave the factory.
2. She applied for leave on 2 June 2018 for pre-natal examination, but the production manager did not approve it. Since her health was not good, she had to be absent on 2 June for pre-natal checkup without permission. When she returned, she was cursed at by the production manager.

The complainant's issue: she was forced to quit her job by the production manager and her labour contract was terminated unlawfully by the factory. She could not work until her contract had expired and sought support to receive her due wage and maternity allowance.

Findings and conclusions

On 2 June 2018, FWF’s complaints handler in Vietnam received a complaint from a worker who claimed that:
- She was forced to leave her job by the production manager;
- Her labour contract was terminated unlawfully by the factory.

She sought FWF's support to receive her due wage and maternity allowance. FWF declared this complaint admissible on 6 June 2018 and informed Schoffel, the FWF member sourcing at this factory. After informing the factory, the brand was told that the worker had been responsible for making mistakes when sewing and received warnings, which was the reason for terminating her contract.

FWF's complaint handler interviewed two workers who said the complainant was forced to sign a termination form because she was pregnant, and pregnant workers' contracts are never renewed according to those workers. From the review of the discipline records on 21 and 23 May 2018, it was noted that the complainant was disciplined in the form of written warning while she was pregnant. This practice does not comply with Article 123.4.d of The Labour Code. Therefore, the complainant's labour contract was terminated illegally and the factory should compensate her according to Article 42 of the Labour Code.

Due to being pregnant and having relocated, the worker would be unable to attend a remediation meeting at the factory. When discussing the possibility to postpone the meeting until after childbirth, the complainant declined and decided to drop the complaint. The factory refused to admit being unlawful in this case.

The complainant decided to drop the case. However, she said there were several 3/4 month-pregnant workers whose contracts were not renewed and, as a consequence, did not receive maternity benefits. She felt fine with her situation and thanked FWF for its support.
See details

Overview of the complaint investigation

07/02/2018 Investigation

After informing the factory, the brand was told that the worker had been responsible for mistakes when sewing and had received warnings about this, which was the reason for terminating her contract.
FWF investigator interviewed two workers who said she was forced to sign a termination form because she was pregnant, and pregnant workers contracts are never renewed according to those workers.
From the review of discipline records on 21 and 23 May 2018, it was noted that the complainant was disciplined in the form of written warning while she was pregnant. This practice does not comply with Article 123.4.d of The Labour Code, according to which "No disciplinary measure shall be taken against an employee for his/her
violation of labour disciplinary regulations during the period when the employee is pregnant, or on maternity leave, or is breast-feeding children under the age of 12 months."

07/20/2018 Conclusion of the investigation

The investigation revealed that the complainant's labour contract was terminated illegally and the factory should compensate her according to Article 42 of the Labour Code. The investigation could not prove whether the worker was forced to sign the termination letter. However, this was probably the case as it was expressed by the coworkers who were interviewed.

07/20/2018 Remediation

Due to being pregnant and having relocated, the worker would be unable to attend a remediation meeting at the factory. When discussing the possibility to postpone the meeting until after childbirth, the complainant declined and decided to drop the complaint. The factory refused to admit being unlawful in this case.

08/20/2018 Evaluation of the complaint

The complainant thanked FWF complaints handler for helping her. She said that she had enough income from her remaining salary of May and that she would receive maternity benefits from the local social insurance agency. Therefore, she would like to close the complaint because 1. She did not know if she would return to the area where the factory is located 2. Her colleagues may not want to testify.

08/22/2018 Closed

The complainant decided to drop the case. However, she said there were several 3 or 4 month pregnant workers whose contracts were not renewed and, as a consequence, did not receive maternity benefits. She was satisfied with her own situation.

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