VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co. KG, Complaint 820

Employment is freely chosen Reasonable hours of work Legally binding employment relationship

This case results from the incomplete remediation of another complaint case that involved a group of workers.

A worker whose resignation was accepted and who was supposed to stop working on 30 November, was told he/she could not leave and had to work 2 to 4 more weeks.

The factory had emailed the brand about the resignation approval, and Fair Wear was also informed. However, the worker had no copy of the resignation form or any approval document. Her/his line supervisor wanted her/him to continue working, but since it was supposed to be his/her last day of work, the worker went to the Director's office. The factory management then denied its responsibility regarding the resignation case and accused the worker of violating the company's regulation by entering that office. The factory asked her/him to sign a paper to resign within a notice of 20 to 45 days and acknowledge his/her mistake. The worker refused and was walked to the factory gate.

When discussing the issues with the factory, Vaude was informed that the factory wanted the worker to go back to work for 2 more weeks.
The worker was not able to go back to work for personal reasons. He/she explained to Fair Wear that all her/his managers, supervisor, line leader, HR manager and the union leader knew about her/his resignation.

Besides, she/he had asked to be able to go home earlier in October and not work overtime hours (stopping work at 18:00 instead of 21:00) and the line supervisor refused.

The worker would like to receive her/his remaining salary of November 2019.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2019-12-26 Investigation

The factory blamed the worker for entering the Director's office when this is against the factory policy. For that reason the factory refused to follow the normal resignation procedure, but agreed to pay the remaining due salary for November to the worker.
On 26 December 2019, the worker received only the basic salary (around 3,8 millions VND) instead of the usual 7 million VND that include attendance bonuses and other benefits. The worker claimed the difference.

2019-12-27 Remediation

The member decided to pay the worker's salary gap to answer the complainant's request.

2020-02-08 Investigation

A new issue arose.
The worker went to the factory to ask for his/her social insurance book. He/she was informed that the factory treated his/her termination as an unlawful resignation. In such a case, the worker is not entitle to the unemployment allowance which will be paid by social insurance. The complainant disagreed with the termination decision and requested lawful termination since he/she had applied with a letter and received approval months before). The complainant requested for the new termination decision to be issued no later than 15 February in order to be able submit the application to receive unemployment allowance.

2020-02-17 Remediation

The complainant received the transfer from the member brand to compensate the unpaid salary gap.

She/he did not receive any update regarding the approval of her/his lawful resignation from the factory.

2020-03-09 Investigation

At the end of February, the worker called the factory several times about the termination decision, the new HR staff asked him/her to write a letter with the details of the resignation case. After this, the complainant never heard back from the factory.

On 7 March, the complainant called again and asked for his/her social insurance book (besides his/her initial request for the termination letter needed to apply for employment allowance). The factory asked the worker to write a letter to receive his/her social insurance book. The complainant was surprised and did not write such a letter.

Social insurance books should be returned to any worker no longer working at a company, regardless of a lawful or unlawful resignation process. The factory should return the books as soon as possible to the worker.

2020-03-23 Verification

The worker received the social insurance book and the termination letter.

2020-03-23 Closed

The complainant received her social insurance books which is required by law. However, her resignation case was accepted by the factory as an unlawful resignation, when the worker had in fact submitted her resignation letter many months before and then after her resignation was accepted, was told on her last day of work to remain at the factory for a couple more weeks.

Thus this case is now closed but not resolved; the factory should have followed the legal procedure and let the worker finish working after the 45 days notice as previously communicated with Vaude.