Câu hỏi 17. Is it possible that a LC signed between an Employer being a foreign-invested enterprise or a representative office of a foreign trader in Vietnam and an Employee being Vietnamese is made in a foreign language (e.g. English)? In the case of a bilingual LC, if there is any discrepancy in contents between the English and Vietnamese versions, which language must prevail?


1. Can a LC be made in a foreign language (e.g. English)?

There is no such regulation on the compulsory language used in the LC provided in either the Labour Code or guiding documents. Therefore, in principle, the Employer and the Employee is allowed to enter into a LC made in a foreign language (e.g. English). However, regarding the fact that the labour relationship is established in Vietnam and parties will also perform such a LC in Vietnam, the language of such LC should be expressed at least in Vietnamese, in addition to recognising rights and obligations, the LC is also a document which is deemed as a legal basis for registration, declaration and payment of compulsory insurance premiums in accordance with the Labour Code as well as the withholding of PIT for the Employee at competent insurance and tax authorities. Besides, if a labour dispute occurs, the LC filed to the Courts as the parties’ evidence must be required to be translated into Vietnamese and legally notarised or authenticated according to regulations[1].

2. If it is a LC in bilingual languages, which language must prevail in the event of the discrepancy?

The Labour Code does not provide any specific regulations on the language that should be shown in the LC. Although the law provides no prohibition in the execution of a LC made in a foreign language, in the event of submitting a LC to a competent Court in Vietnam as evidence in a labour dispute, such LC is required to be translated into Vietnamese, as well as notarised and legally authenticated according to the regulations[2]. Thus, in fact, if a LC is made in both English and Vietnamese languages, the parties are more likely to agree on a specific clause recording which language will prevail when disputes arise between the parties. However, if the parties do not have any agreement on the preferred language, in principle, the LC that the parties have officially entered into must take effect, regardless of which language is shown under such LC.

[1]Article 96.3 of the Civil Procedure Code.

[1]Article 96.3 Civil Procedure Code