I’m a foreigner and working under a two-year labor contract with a company in Vietnam. I entered into this contract 15 months ago but now I have to go back home. May I unilaterally terminate this labor contract? And must I pay compensation to the employer?
Under the 2012 Labor Code of Vietnam, you are working under a definite-term labor contract, then you may unilaterally terminate the labor contract prior to its expiration if you:
- Are not assigned to the job or workplace or is not given the working conditions as agreed in the labor contract;
- Are not paid in full or on time as agreed in the labor contract;
- Are maltreated, sexually harassed or subject to forced labor;
- Are unable to continue performing the labor contract due to personal or family difficulties;
- Have been elected to perform a full-time duty in a people-elected office or appointed to hold a position in the state apparatus;
- Are pregnant and need to take leave as prescribed by a competent medical establishment;
- Are sick or have encountered an accident and remain unable to work after receiving treatment for 90 consecutive days.
If you can prove that you fall into one of above cases, you will not have to pay compensation to the employer. However, you have to inform such to the employer:
- At least 3 working days in advance, if you are neither assigned to the job or workplace or is not given the working conditions agreed in the labor contract; or are not paid in full or on time as agreed in the labor contract; or are maltreated, sexually harassed or subject to forced labor; or are sick or have encountered an accident and remain unable to work after receiving treatment for 90 consecutive days.
- At least 30 days in advance if you are unable to continue performing the labor contract due to personal or family difficulties; or have been elected to perform a full-time duty in a people-elected office or is appointed to hold a position in the state apparatus.
- If you are pregnant and have a certificate of a competent medical establishment stating that continued work will adversely affect your pregnancy, you may unilaterally terminate the labor contract or temporarily postpone the performance of the labor contract. The period for you give a prior notice to the employer depends on the period determined by the competent medical establishment.
If the unilateral termination of the labor contract is lawful but you violate the provision on the time of prior notice, you still have to pay as compensation to the employer an amount equivalent to the employee’s wage for workdays without prior notice.
The unilateral termination of the labor contract is unlawful if you do not fall any of the above cases. And you have to pay to the employer a compensation equal to half of a month’s wage in accordance with the labor contract.
May I continue to use my work permit after I unilaterally terminate the labor contract?
According to the labor regulations, the provincial-level Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs Department may revoke your work permit, if:
- The contents of your dossier of application for the grant or re-grant of the work permit are found untrue;
- Your work permit expires;
- The foreign worker or your employer fails to comply with the granted work permit;
- The labor contract is terminated;
- The labor contract contents are not consistent with the contents of your work permit;
- The relevant contract or agreement on business, commerce, finance, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sports, education and training, vocational training, or health expires or is terminated;
- The foreign side makes a written notification that you are no longer assigned to work in Vietnam;
- The employer terminates operation;
- You are imprisoned, dead or missing as declared by the court;
- A competent agency or organization makes a written request for revocation of your work permit due to your violation of Vietnamese law.
The fact that you unilaterally terminate the labor contract means the labor contract is terminated. So, your work permit will therefore be revoked.-