1. May the Employer arrange for the Employee to sit anywhere at the workplace?
The labour law prescribes that the Employer may recruit, arrange and manage, executively operate and supervise labour; reward and deal with breaches of labour discipline. Accordingly, the arrangement is construed as assigning the Employee into specialised departments or teams in line with the enterprise’s structure and the Employee’ job descriptions for creating conditions for the Employer to use and manage the Employee most efficiently from time to time. Therefore, during the employment under the LC, the Employer may arrange and specify working positions for the Employee anywhere at the workplace as well as change the working positions anytime that they deem necessary, provided that the working positions are clean and spacious enough for the Employee to perform the assigned job and have the reasonable advance notice for him or her to prepare.
2. May the Employer not provide working tools (e.g. computers, telephones) for the Employee to perform the assigned job in the LC? If computers are provided, may the Employer block the Employee from access to the enterprise’ server, prevent him or her receiving from or sending emails from his or her business email address, and not allow him or her to use the internet to search information for his or her work?
In practice, in the enterprise providing services such as banks or insurance companies employing office staff, when the Employer and the Employee are in a conflict, the Employer tends to take the computer back from the Employee, or let him or her keep the computers but block him or her from access to the enterprise’ server, prevent him or her from receiving or sending emails and blocking the internet for the purpose of protecting the enterprise’s business operations from potential harmful acts due to violations of the Employee.
Concerning the provision of working tools, this is not an item that must be included in a LC. In practice, certain positions or jobs are only done with the assistance of working tools. For instance, office staffs (programmers, accountants etc.) need to have computers as working tools to perform his or her professional duties; drivers need to have cars as working tools to transport the goods. Therefore, upon entering into the LC with the Employee, the Employer often anticipates this issue and specifies in the LC the tools that will be provided for the Employee. Accordingly, if the Employer takes back the working tools that have been provided for the Employee, there may be a legal risk that they have violated their obligations to execute the LC as prescribed by the Labour Code.
From the perspective of civil law, the enterprise’s servers, as well as are considered as the Employer’ property. So, it is entirely the Employer’s decision about whether to let the Employee use the above properties or keep him or her connected to the internet at any time. In general, the protection of enterprise’s business operations from the Employee’s harmful acts under this option is better than the option of not providing working tools for the Employee as mentioned above. It is because the Employer’s underground intervention will not make the employment relationship between them and the Employee become tense, while the enterprise’s business operations is better protected from potential harm caused by the Employee.
Article 6.1 (a) of the Labour Code
Article 23 of the Labour Code and Article 3 of the Circular 10/2020/TT-BLDTBXH dated 12/11/2020