Question 199. Is there any provision guiding on the time-limit for storing and deleting an Employee’ information data? Who has the authority to decide on the deletion of such data?

The Labour Code and its guiding by-law documents do not have any specific regulations on the term of data preservation in the enterprise that the Employer shall comply with. However, according to Circular 09/2011/TT-BNV of the Ministry of Domestic Affairs dated 03 June 2011 on preservation term of records and materials generally formed in activities of authorities and organisations, guiding the Ordinance 34/2011/PL-UBTVQH10 dated 04 April 2001 of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, although this Ordinance has expired, this Circular 09/2011/TT-BNV remains in effect and has not been replaced by other legal documents, it can be used as references and applied. This Circular stipulates that for documents of business organisations that are enterprises or Employers in general, the minimum data preservation term regardless of hard data or soft data is 05 years and the maximum is permanent depending on the document type. For example: The preservation term of a LC is 05 years after the termination of the LC, the preservation term of a serious occupational accident record or formulation of a wage scale, wage tables are permanent. Furthermore, the Circular 09/2011/TT-BNV does not stipulate who has the authority to erase data on records and documents that have expired. However, in practice, the relevant departments, divisions of the enterprise shall be responsible for the data erasure under the assignment of the enterprise’s owner.

In order to limit legal risks for enterprises, the Employer should preserve all types of documents according to the minimum term specified in the Circular 09/2011/TT-BNV. For other types of documents, depending on the Employer’ decision, it is possible to consider applying the term of 05 years aforementioned to ensure the minimum preservation term as in the Circular 09/2011/ TT-BNV.