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FWF's complaints handler in Vietnam received a complaint from a worker who has worked at the factory in question since 2009. While the complainant has wanted to terminate her long term labour contract since last year, and had informed the factory 45 days in advance, the factory did not provide the complainant with a termination form. Indeed, the complainant requested the termination form frequently but was never given one. On 26 February 2018 the complainant left her job due to health reason, without handing in the termination form.
Since then, the factory has not paid the remaining salary and has not returned the complainant's social insurance book. The HR officer has asked the complainant to pay a compensation of approximately 7,000,000 VND because of unlawful unilateral termination of the labour contract. After receiving the compensation, the factory has stated that they will pay the remaining salary and return the social insurance book.
FWF's complaint handler advised the complainant to involve the trade union and request the HR department to supply a written request for the compensation and termination procedure.
On 21 April, 2018 the complainant informed FWF's complaints handler that she was unable to contact the labour union. She did, however, meet with a HR officer but the HR officer did not provide the complainant with any documents regarding the compensation request. The HR officer said that the complainant has to pay compensation first, then factory will carry out the termination procedure.
The complainant wishes FWF to support her with the following complaints:
1. She has not received the remaining salary of February 2018;
2. She has not received the severance allowance and unused annual leave;
3. She has not received her social insurance book.
FWF's complaints handler in Vietnam received a complaint from a former factory worker, who claimed that she has not received her remaining salary, severance allowance, unused annual leave or social insurance book. The complainant stated that the reason for this is because the factory claimed she unlawfully and unilaterally terminated the labour contract. However, the complainant had informed the factory of her wish to end the labour contract 45 days in advance and had requested a termination form multiple times, which the factory had not issued her with. According to the complainant, the factory asked the complainant to pay a fine for unilaterally terminating the contract and stated that they will pay the outstanding salary once they have received the compensation payment. FWF declared this complaint admissible and informed Haglofs and Schoffel, the FWF member brands sourcing at this factory. On 3 April 2018, the complainant went to the factory, where she filled in the termination form, which went into effect immediately. As both parties accepted this form, the complainant was no longer required to pay compensation. By the end of June, the complainant had received all outstanding payments and social insurance book. The complainant is satisfied with the outcome of the complaint. The complaint has been resolved.
The complainant went to the factory on 3 April 2018, where she filled out the termination form, which went into effect immediately. This means that the termination form was officially accepted by the factory who added a signature and stamp. The termination form does not explicitly state that the worker needs to give 45 days notice before leaving employment. Both parties agreed to terminate the labour contract. Therefore, this case is a legal termination of the labour contract and not an illegal unilateral termination, as was previously stated by the factory.
This means that the complainant does not need to pay a fine for unilaterally ending the labour contract and that the factory must pay the remaining salary and severance allowance (if any) to the complainant within 7 days as required by Article 47.2 of Labour Code.
In terms of the social insurance book, according to Article 47.2 and Article 47.3 of Labour Code, a factory must return the social insurance book to employees within 30 days from terminating the labour contract. This obligation does not depend on any outstanding compensation payments. In cases where the labour contract is illegally terminated unilaterally by workers, the factory can send a complaint to the local authority to resolve the issue and receive compensation (if any).
Furthermore, the factory may be fined between 1,000,000 VND and 2,000,000 VND if the violation involves 1-10 cases where the factory failed to complete the correct procedures for confirming and returning documents to the worker after the termination of the labour contract, as per Article 8 of Decree 88/2015/ND-CP.
At the end of June, the factory paid the remaining salary to the complainant and arranged for the social insurance book to be returned as well.
The complainant confirmed receiving the money and thanked FWF for helping her, she has no further complaints. However, the complainant did inform FWF's complaints handler that she was required to sign a commitment to filing no further complaints and not to share this case with other workers.
This complaint has been resolved.