Remote Work in Vietnam: Risks for the Employer and Best Practices

Remote Work in Vietnam: Risks for the Employer and Best Practices

In response to the COVID pandemic, numerous countries, including Vietnam, have adopted remote work as a trend due to social distancing requirements. Post-pandemic, this pattern has continued due to the advantages it offers, such as reduced rental fees and office building requirements as people are not compelled to work in-house. Workers enjoy a more open atmosphere compared to traditional working practices since they are not subject to direct on-site supervision.

However, the absence of specific laws governing remote working may create challenges for businesses in terms of managing human resources and adhering to regulations. The benefits of this form of labor can be hindered by various obstacles such as information security, ensuring adherence to internal policies, labor laws, and other legal requirements, occupational safety concerns, accidents, and the need to regulate employee productivity. These are some of the most visible and common issues that arise when dealing with remote workers and must be taken into account by businesses operating in this new paradigm.

Occupational safety and accidents

The Law on Occupational Safety and Hygiene No. 84/2015/QH13 provides various articles related to occupational safety and hygiene. Under this Law, the employer has a responsibility to ensure that the working environment meets all necessary occupational safety standards. Furthermore, “occupational accident” refers to an accident that causes injuries to any bodily part and function of an employee or causes death, and occurs during the course of work, in connection with their performance of a job or a task, including during breaks, mid-shift meals, in-kind refreshments, menstruation hygiene, washing linens, nursing, visiting the restroom, preparation of, and finishing work at the workplace, outside the workplace or beyond working time and when an employee does work assigned by the employer or the person authorized by the employer.

Notably, an occupational accident is also defined as one that occurs at a reasonable location and time when the employee travels from their place of living to their place of employment, and vice versa. Therefore, businesses must take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees, both within and outside of the workplace, to prevent any potential occupational accidents and associated legal repercussions.

It is important to note that employers remain responsible for ensuring occupational safety and preventing accidents, even if their employees are working remotely.

To avoid facing broad liability for these issues, it is essential for enterprises to include specific details about remote work locations into the employment contracts. Additionally, regulations on working hours, employee responsibilities related to maintaining a safe working environment, and compulsory measures can also be added to these contracts to further mitigate risk. By taking these steps, employers can protect themselves from potential legal issues related to remote work arrangements.

Staying in compliance with the internal rules of the company

Unlike working in an office where breaches of regulations can be more easily identified, remote work can make it difficult to ensure adherence to standard company policies. Additionally, the greater flexibility in terms of working hours, uniform, breaks, and working environment can further complicate compliance efforts.

To address these difficulties, enterprises should establish a comprehensive set of Internal Working Regulations, Labor Regulations, and other rules specifically tailored for remote work. These rules should be carefully crafted, avoiding any overlaps and incorporating unique provisions as necessary. Furthermore, businesses must ensure that these rules are aligned with the terms stipulated by the Vietnam Labor Code to prevent potential disagreements and difficulties in disciplinary management.

By establishing clear and well-defined regulations for remote work, businesses can better manage their workforce and ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Regulating employee performance is a complex task that shares similarities with enforcing compliance with work regulations. The issue is especially important because it impacts an enterprise’s ability to unilaterally terminate employment contracts. Therefore, it is crucial for enterprises to develop comprehensive regulations for evaluating the completion of work, with particular attention to remote work arrangements. These regulations should be synchronized with other relevant documents, such as working rules and labor contracts, while also adhering to labor law provisions to avoid potential violations.

Non-Disclosure. There are a multitude of software options available for organizations to manage and control work-related electronic devices. These softwares can facilitate the regulation, monitoring, and restriction of actions taken on these devices. However, it is important to note that there are still potential information security risks, such as lost or stolen equipment, employee mishandling of devices, or intentional replication of confidential information using unauthorized devices. While implementing these software solutions can help limit the risk of information leakage and business secrets exposure, they may not be enough. To further mitigate these risks, businesses may consider signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement with specific conditions tailored for remote workers. This agreement would explicitly establish obligations and remuneration requirements, ensuring that employees are held accountable for their actions and promoting greater responsibility towards safeguarding confidential information. By doing so, businesses can reduce the dangers associated with remote working and better protect their assets and sensitive data.

In the light of the above, imposing restrictions on employees who work in an office environment is already a challenging task, and it becomes even more complicated when applied to remote workers. In fact, many businesses struggle to apply the Labor Code and handle employee difficulties related to remote work. However, by establishing a comprehensive internal document system and consulting with legal professionals, businesses can effectively adapt to and capitalize on this type of regulation. This approach protects the interests of both businesses and employees, ensuring compliance with labor laws and can be helpful to successfully manage remote workers and overcome the associated legal complexities.

Remote Work in Vietnam: Risks for the Employer and Best Practices(图1)

Remote Work in Vietnam: Risks for the Employer and Best Practices(图2)