Question 36: Can Employers unilaterally revise the contents of Employees’ job descriptions and the criteria for evaluating the task completion level, which serve as the basis for determining whether Employees regularly fail to complete their tasks?

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Job description

As prescribed by the labour law, the job description is one of the items that must be included in an LC[1]. However, each position specified in the LC will include a large number of detailed and particular responsibilities that Employees must fulfil, so they cannot be presented fully in just the title section of an LC. Therefore, Employers often have to specify or include a job description in the LC in order to provide more details of the job that an Employee must do, which is consistent with the position or title that the Employee is applying for.

Since a job description is an integral part of or an appendix attached to an LC, the revision of a job description must be implemented in accordance with the regulations on amending and supplementing LCs. In particular, if Employers need to revise the contents of a job description, they must notify Employees of the items to be amended or supplemented at least 3 working days in advance. If the two parties can reach an agreement on the content to be amended, the amendment or supplement of LCs will be made by signing contract appendices or entering into new LCs. Otherwise, the parties will continue to execute the signed LCs if they cannot reach an agreement on amending LCs[2]. This means that Employers cannot unilaterally revise the contents of Employees’ job descriptions.

Criteria for evaluating the task completion level

Besides the job description attached to an LC, the regulation on evaluating the task completion level is an important legal basis to evaluate an Employee’s productivity and the degree of work completion. It is prescribed that Employers must consult the labour collective representing organisation about the regulation on evaluating the task completion level before issuing it[3]. Therefore, Employers cannot unilaterally revise the contents of the regulation on evaluating the task completion level, but have to consult the labour collective representing organisation about the changes before issuing a new regulation, or an amended or supplemented one.

Regarding the time when Employers are allowed to revise the regulation, labour law does not provide any regulation or guideline on this issue. However, in order to maintain the stability of business activities, Employers should build a reasonable regulation which can be applied in the long term. Constantly changing the evaluation regulation in a short time can make the competent courts and local labour management agencies have doubts [MRK1] about Employers if a dispute arises in relation to the unilateral termination of LCs for the reason that Employees regularly fail to complete their tasks.

[1] Article 23.1 (c) Labor Code

[2] Article 35 Labor Code

[3] Article 12.1 Decree 05/2015/NĐ-CP dated 12/01/2015