Question 23: In case of the consecutive signing of two seasonal LCs, is the third LC compulsory to be an indefinite LC? Is there any regulation that provides for the signing of only 02 seasonal LCs?

Beside the type of definite term LC and indefinite LC, the seasonal or specific job-based LC is another type the labour law allows Employers and Employees to enter into to perform the seasonal, temporary jobs with a term of less than 12 months[1]. However, for regular jobs of a term of 12 months or more, Employers and Employees are required to enter into LCs in the form of definite or indefinite LC rather than seasonal or specific job-based LC with the aforesaid term of less than 12 months, except for any cases of temporary replacement for Employees who must perform military service, take leave due to maternity, sickness, labour accident or other temporary absence.

At present, the labour law as well as the current guiding documents still does not contain any specific regulation on limiting the number of signed LCs or any clear definition of the regular nature of a job. Therefore, the understanding and application of this issue will in fact depend on the nature of the job and the way in which it is interpreted, the views of the local labour management authorities or the competent court for dispute resolution. For example, Employers cannot sign LCs with Employees acting as chief accountants, directors and operating department managers to carry out long-term, regular jobs to maintain the enterprise’s operations. In light of the current practice in the hearing and settlement of labour disputes in Vietnam, the job agreed in the two seasonal LCs signed in a row will be considered a regular job because a seasonal job must define its start and end. Therefore, the consecutive signing of two LCs for the same job will be considered unreasonable and inconsistent with the labour law. At that time, the two seasonal LCs that were previously entered into will also be considered to be definite LC and in principle, any definite LC is eligible to be entered into twice only[2], and the third LC (if any) between Employers and Employees must be an indefinite LC.

[1]Article 22.1 (c) Labor Code

[2]Article 22.2 Labor Code