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Official Gazette

Friday, August 18, 2017

Settlement of labor disputes

Updated: 00:00’ - 03/07/2014

What are procedures for settlement of individual labor disputes?

According to the 2012 Labor Code, individual labor disputes must go through the conciliation conducted by labor conciliators before being brought to a court for settlement, except the following:

- Disputes over the disciplinary measure of dismissal or unilateral termination of labor contract;

- Disputes over compensation for damage and allowance upon termination of labor contract;

- Disputes between a domestic employee (house maid) and his/her employer;

- Disputes over social insurance in accordance with the law on social insurance, or over health insurance in accordance with the law on health insurance;

- Disputes over compensation for damage between employees and enterprises or non-business units sending these employees abroad to work under contracts.

Within five working days after receiving a conciliation request, the labor conciliator will have to complete the conciliation.

Both disputing parties must be present at the conciliation meeting. The disputing parties may authorize their representatives to attend the conciliation meeting.

The labor conciliator will instruct the parties to negotiate. In case the disputing parties can reach an agreement, the labor conciliator will prepare a written record of successful conciliation.

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Processing export bird nests in Dien Khanh district (Khanh Hoa province)
Photo: Vu Sinh/VNA

In case the two parties cannot reach an agreement, the labor conciliator may recommend a solution to the parties for consideration. In case the disputing parties all agree with the recommended solution, the labor conciliator will prepare a written record of successful conciliation.

In case the two parties do not agree with the recommended solution or one of the disputing parties is absent from the meeting without a plausible reason after having been duly summoned twice, the labor conciliator will prepare a written record of unsuccessful conciliation.

The written record of unsuccessful conciliation must bear the signatures of the present party and the labor conciliator.

Copies of the record of successful or unsuccessful conciliation must be sent to both disputing parties within one working day from the date it is prepared.

In case of unsuccessful conciliation or if either party does not implement the agreement written in the record of successful conciliation or the conciliation duration expires but the labor conciliator fails to conduct the conciliation, each disputing party may request settlement by a court.

The statute of limitations for requesting a labor conciliator to settle an individual labor dispute is six months, counting from the date of discovering an act which is claimed by each disputing party to infringe upon its/his/her rights or legitimate interests.

The statute of limitations for bringing an individual labor dispute to court is one year counting from the date of discovering an act which is claimed by each disputing party to infringe its/his/her rights or legitimate interests.

Which agencies, organizations and persons are competent to settle collective labor disputes? What are procedures for settlement collective labor disputes at grassroots level?

Under the 2012 Labor Code, agencies, organizations and persons competent to settle right-based collective labor disputes include:

- Labor conciliators;

- Chairpersons of People’s Committees of districts, towns or provincial cities (chairpersons of district-level People’s Committees);

- People’s Courts.

 Agencies, organizations and persons competent to settle interest-based collective labor disputes:

- Labor conciliators;

- The Labor Arbitration Council.

None of the disputing parties may take unilateral actions against the other party pending the settlement of their collective labor dispute by a competent agency, organization or person within the time limit provided by the Code.

Procedures for settling collective labor disputes at grassroots level

The conciliation procedures for collective labor disputes comply with the above provisions on settlement of individual disputes, but a written record of conciliation must clearly indicate the type of collective labor dispute.

In case of unsuccessful conciliation or either party does not implement the agreement written in the record of successful conciliation, for right-based collective labor disputes, any disputing party may request settlement by the chairperson of the district-level People’s Committee. For interest-based collective labor disputes, any disputing party may request settlement by the Labor Arbitration Council.

In case the labor conciliator fails to conduct the conciliation within five working days after receiving a conciliation request, any disputing party may request settlement by the chairperson of the district-level People’s Committee.

Within two working days after receiving a request for settlement, the chairperson of the district-level People’s Committee will have to identify whether the dispute is right-based or interest-based.

* In case of a right-based collective labor dispute, the chairperson of the district-level People’s Committee will settle it as follows:

Within five working days after receiving the request for settlement, the chairperson of a district-level People’s Committee shall conduct the labor dispute settlement.

Representatives of the two disputing parties must be present at the labor dispute settlement meeting. When finding it necessary, the chairperson of the district-level People’s Committee may invite representatives of other relevant agencies and organizations to the meeting.

The chairperson of the district-level People’s Committee will base himself/herself on the labor law, collective labor agreement, registered internal working regulations and other lawful regulations and agreements to consider and settle the labor dispute.

In case the two parties disagree with the decision of the chairperson of the district-level People’s Committee or the chairperson of the district-level People’s Committee fails to settle the labor dispute within the prescribed time limit, any disputing party may request settlement by a court.

The statute of limitations for requesting settlement of a right-based collective labor dispute is one year counting from the date of discovering an act which is claimed by either party to infringe upon its rights or legitimate interests.

* In case of an interest-based collective labor dispute, the Labor Arbitration Council will settle it as follows:

Within seven working days after receiving a request, the Labor Arbitration Council will complete the conciliation. 

Representatives of the two disputing parties must be present at the meeting of the Labor Arbitration Council. If finding it necessary, the Labor Arbitration Council may invite representatives of relevant agencies and organizations to the meeting.

The Labor Arbitration Council shall support the disputing parties in negotiating with each other; in case the two parties cannot reach an agreement, the Labor Arbitration Council will recommend a solution to both disputing parties for consideration.

If the disputing parties can reach an agreement or agree with the recommended solution, the Labor Arbitration Council shall prepare a written record of successful conciliation and issue a decision to recognize the agreement of the two parties.  

In case the disputing parties cannot reach an agreement or either disputing party is absent without a plausible reason after having been duly summoned twice, the Labor Arbitration Council will make a written record of unsuccessful conciliation.

The written record of unsuccessful conciliation must bear the signatures of the present party and the chairperson and the secretary of the Labor Arbitration Council. 

Copies of the record of successful or unsuccessful conciliation must be sent to both disputing parties within one working day after it is prepared.

Five days after the Labor Arbitration Council makes the written record of successful conciliation, if either disputing party does not implement the agreement, the employees’ collective may carry out procedures for going on strike.

In case the Labor Arbitration Council makes a written record of unsuccessful conciliation, after three days, the employees’ collective may carry out procedures for going on strike.-


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