Question 168: Does the Vietnam law stipulate and provide guidelines on the duration of storing and deleting the information data of Employees in the enterprise? Who has the authority to decide to delete these information data?

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The prevailing Labor Code and guiding documents do not cover any specific regulation on the duration of storing data in enterprises for Employers to comply with. However, Circular 09/2011/TT-BNV dated June 3, 2011 of the Ministry of Home Affairs prescribes the duration of maintaining the published dossiers and documents in the operation of agencies and organisations, guiding the implementation of the Ordinance on National Archives No. 34/2011/PL-UBTVQH10 dated April 4, 2001 of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly. Despite the invalidity of the said Ordinance, Circular 09 has not yet been replaced by other legal documents. This Circular stipulates, for the documents of economic organisations as enterprises or Employers in general, the minimum document maintenance period will be 5 years and permanent at maximum depending on the type of material no matter how hard or soft the material data are. For example: The length of maintaining the LCs of a case is 5 years after its termination, the duration of maintaining the file of a serious occupational accident or the records of the payroll and salary scale elaboration is permanent. In addition, Circular 09/2011/TT-BNV also does not provide more information on the person having the right to cancel information related to the documents and records upon expiry of their archival period. However, in practice, the relevant departments might be responsible for cancelling these documents as assigned by their enterprise owners.

In order to minimise risks, Employers should first maintain the documents in line with the minimum period specified in Circular 09/2011/TT-BNV. For other types of documents, Employers can decide at their own discretion but should consider applying the five-year duration to ensure the minimum duration of archival pursuant to Circular 09/2011/TT-BNV.