Jack Wolfskin, Schoffel Sportbekleidung GmbH, Complaint 408

There is no discrimination in employment Legally binding employment relationship

The complainant called and stated that at the factory where they work they can only sign 3-month contracts if employees are over 35 years old.

Findings and conclusions

On 7 July the complainant called and stated that at the factory where they work they can only sign 3-month contracts if employees are over 35 years old. Also, the worker was laid off on 1 July, allegedly due to having sent a complaint letter to the local authorities who then went on to inspect the factory and required the management to stop the practice of seasonal contracts. Finally, the worker got less holiday time than legally established, and all extra payments, including severance allowance are not confirmed. Mostly, the worker wants to continue being employed at the factory.

In the end, the factory signed a one year fixed-term contract with one of the complainants, and four out of five seasonal workers have signed a fixed-term contract as well. A second complainant had found another job after the complaint.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2017-08-30 Conclusion of the investigation

Based on the investigation the complaint was found grounded. The local authority inspection concluded:
Factory signs seasonal contracts with 4 workers who work more than 1 year and 1 worker who work 9 months at the factory. This practice is not compliance with Article 24 of the labor code. The inspector of the local authority required the factory to comply with the local laws on signing the labor contract.
The factory is not in compliance with the labor code on singing the seasonal/temporary contract for doing regular work (as per Article 22.3 of Labor Code: It is prohibited to conclude casual labor contracts or regular labor contracts with terms under 12 months to do regular works from 12 months and above, except for temporary replacement of employees doing military service, taking maternity leave, suffering from sickness or occupational accidents, or taking other temporary leave).
The handover procedure for terminating employement that was submitted by factory management complies with the Vietnam Labor Code. It states the resigned employees must return the employee's card, the factory pays salary and allowances according to local laws, and the employees must compensate factory in case of unilateral termination by employees. The procedure complies with the local law.

2017-08-30 Remediation

Factory must comply with Article 24 and 22.3 of the Labour Code for sighing seasonal contracts. The factory should not terminate the seasonal workers who work at the factory from 9 months and above. The factory should sign the fixed-term labour contracts to these workers. Leave and social insurance payments should be based on the contractual agreements.
The labour contract must specify exact information on social insurances, salary rate, allowances and other additional payments, the start time and end time of every work day, overtime hours and overtime provisions, annual leave and holidays, personal protective equipment for the employee as stipulated in the Vietnam Labour Code Article 4 of Decree 05/2015/ND-CP.

2017-08-30 Verification

Factory has signed a fixed term contract with one of the complainants (17 July 2017 to 17 July 2018). The contract was verified by FWF’s complaints handler who stated the contract does lack detailed information such as: start time / end time, rest time, overtime and overtime-related provisions, annual leave, holidays. FWF members are encouraged to follow up with factory management to ensure labour contracts fulfil the legal requirements as explained in the remediation chapter. 4 out of 5 seasonal workers have been signed the fixed-term contract. The other complainant did not sign the fixed-term contract as offered by the factory.
After many attempts to reach the complainant by phone, the complainant informed FWF on September 10 she had found another job in July 2017 before the factory contacted her. She does not want to return the sewing factory.

2017-08-30 Evaluation of the complaint

One of the complainants stated she was very happy to sign a 1-year contract. She wanted to thank FWF and the clients for helping her and her colleagues. The employee who has found another job does not have any further complaints and also thanked FWF for their involvement.

2017-08-30 Resolved

This Complaint is resolved.