NEW CIRCULAR GUIDING THE PROTECTION OF EMPLOYMENT STATUS OF WHISTLEBLOWERS WORKING UNDER LABOR CONTRACTS
On 24 November 2021, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs issued Circular No. 4246/VBHN-BLĐTBXH guiding the protection of the employment status of whistleblowers working under labor contracts (“Circular 4246”). Circular 4246 is consolidated from the previous Circulars regulating the same issue, namely, Circular 08/2020/TT-BLDTBXH, and Circular 09/2021/TT-BLDTBXH.
With its spirit of protecting persons who are whistleblowers, which include those who work under labor contracts and their relatives, Circular 4246 outlines the responsibilities of employers, the executive committee of a grassroots trade union (“ECGTU”) at enterprise, district and provincial levels, as well as other related organisations, and competent authorities. Some notable points are as follows:
1. Responsibility of employers
a. Not to place employment discrimination against the protected person.
b. Not to retaliate, punish or threaten to affect the protected person’s employment, income, and other legitimate interests of their job.
c. To timely and fully implement job protection measures for the protected person at the request of the competent authority that decides to apply protective measures.
d. To report to the competent authority that decides on the application of job protection measures and notify the employer’s representative organisation of the results of the implementation of protective measures.
e. To coordinate, provide information, documents, and records according to the request of the competent authority to protect the employment in the process of receiving, verifying, and applying job protection measures.
2. Responsibility of the ECGTU at all levels
a. For the ECGTU at the enterprise level
This organisation is requested to supervise the employer in the observance of job protection measures for the protected person according to the request of the competent authorities deciding on the application of protective measures. In case the employer fails to comply with such a request, the ECGTU at the enterprise or the board of the employee’s organisation at the enterprise where the employee is a member must make a written notice to the employer. Additionally, the ECGTU has to report the incident to the competent authority which makes the decision to apply protective measures and any other related authorities to promptly take job protection measures.
b. For district and provincial level ECGTU
Circular 4246 also requests the district and provincial ECGTU to supervise:
(a) the employer in the observance of job protection measures for the protected person; and
(b) the competent authority which made the decision to apply protective measures at the same level, presiding over and coordinating with relevant agencies, organizations and individuals in organising the application of job protection measures for employees’ protection.
c. The district and provincial ECGTU are also requested to cooperate with the People’s Committee at the same level in requesting the employer to comply with the job protection measures for the protected person under the decision of the competent authority.
3. Responsibilities of relevant agencies, organizations and individuals
Under Article 9 of Circular 4246, agencies, organizations and individuals (depending on their tasks and powers), are responsible for coordinating with competent agencies in applying protection measures, providing information, documents and job protection measures of the protected person.
Circular 4246 took effect on 1 December 2020.