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Labour Contract Disputes And Notes On Disputes In Court

Labour contract disputes fall under the jurisdiction of the District Court[1]. Accordingly, the employee has the right to initiate a lawsuit to a competent court when realizing that his/her legitimate rights and interests prescribed by law or specified in the labour contract are infringed. Disputes related to contracts are very diverse. According to the law, when an individual labour dispute occurs, this dispute must be resolved through the mediation procedure of the labour conciliator before requesting the Labour Arbitration Council or the Court to settle. However, Article 188 of the Labour Code clearly states that some types of labour contract disputes are not required to go through mediation procedures as follows:

  1. Regarding the handling of labor discipline in the form of dismissal or the case of unilateral termination of the labour contract;
  2. Regarding compensation for damage, allowances upon termination of labour contract;
  3. Between the domestic servant and the employer;
  4. Regarding social insurance in accordance with the law on social insurance, on health insurance in accordance with the law on health insurance, on unemployment insurance in accordance with the law on employment, on occupational accident and occupational disease insurance in accordance with the law on occupational safety and hygiene;
  5. Regarding compensation for damage between employee and enterprises or organizations sending workers to work abroad under contracts;
  6. Between the outsourced employee and the outsourced employer.

This regulation is considered to protect the interests of employees, who are the weak and vulnerable parties in the labour relationship. Allowing employees to sue directly to the Court without going through mediation procedures has shortened the legal process to make it convenient for employees when participating in Court proceedings.

The statute of limitations for initiating lawsuits applicable to labour contract disputes is 01 year[2], from the date of discovering the behavior that the disputing party believes that her/his legitimate rights and interests are infringed.

The time limit for settlement of labour contract disputes at the Court includes:

The time limit for preparation for the first-instance trial of the labour case is 02 months from the date of acceptance of the case. For cases of complicated nature or due to objective obstacles, the trial preparation time may be extended for not exceeding 01 month[3];

The time limit for opening a court session is 01 month from the date of the decision to bring the case to first-instance trial. If there is a legitimate reason, this time limit is 02 months[4].

Notices on disputes in Court regarding the process of initiating a lawsuit

Step 1.             Filing a lawsuit[5]

                        The plaintiff shall prepare a lawsuit petition, enclosed with documents and evidences proving that the lawful rights and interests of the plaintiff have been infringed, and send it to a competent Court in the following forms:

  • Filing directly at the Court;
  • Sending to the Court by postal service;
  • Submitting online via the Court’s Portal (if any).

Step 2.             Paying the the first-instance advance Court fee[6]

The plaintiff is obliged to pay the advance court fee, except for a number of cases where the employee initiates a lawsuit related to the following contents, which will be exempted from paying the advance court fee and the court fee:

  1. Wages;
  2. Job loss allowance, severance allowance;
  3. Social insurance;
  4. Compensation for labour accidents and occupational diseases;
  5. Solving issues regarding compensation for damage or illegal dismissal or termination of labour contract.

Step 3.             Trial preparation procedures and Mediation

During the time limit for preparing for the first-instance trial of the case, the Court shall conduct mediation so that the involved parties can reach agreement on the settlement of the case[7].

  • In case the parties reach agreement on the settlement of the case, after 07 days from the date of making the minutes of successful mediation and none of the involved parties change their opinion on such agreement, the Judge must issue a decision to to recognize the agreement of the involved parties[8].

Of note: The decision to recognize the agreement of the involved parties takes legal effect immediately after being issued and will not be appealed or protested against according to the appeal procedures[9].

  • In case the parties fail to mediate, after the trial preparation time limit expires, the Judge in charge to decide to bring the case to first-instance trial.

Step 4.              Attending the first-instance Court hearing

Step 5.              Execution of Court judgments or conduct an appeal

The time limit for appealing against the judgment of the first-instance Court is 15 days from the date of pronouncement. After this time limit, the Court’s judgment will take effect and the parties are obliged to enforce it[10].

[1] Article 35 of Code of Civil Procedure 2015

[2] Article 190.3 of the Labour Code 2019

[3] Article 203.1 of Code of Civil Procedure 2015

[4] Article 203.4 of Code of Civil Procedure 2015

[5] Article 190.1 of Code of Civil Procedure 2015

[6] Article 146.1 of Code of Civil Procedure 2015 and Article 12.1(a) of Resolution No. 326/2016/UBTVQH1

[7] Article 205 of Code of Civil Procedure 2015

[8] Article 212.1 of Code of Civil Procedure 2015

[9] Article 213.1 of Code of Civil Procedure 2015

[10] Article 273.1 of Code of Civil Procedure 2015