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I have been working in a company in Cambodia for about 5 months now and I am thinking of leaving the company for various reasons. When I asked them for resignation, they said that the minimum prior notice is 60 days. Reading the contract once again, it seems like the contract contradicts itself. Please read the below agreement:

Termination of Contract:

  1. During the probationary period, either the Employer or the Employee may terminate this Contract by forwarding seven days' prior written notice with an indication to terminate this Contract.
  2. Upon satisfactory completion of the Probationary Period, either the Employer or the Employee may terminate this Contract without a prior witten notice.
  3. Subject to the "minimum period of prior written notice" requirement pursuant to Article 75 of the Labor Law of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Employer may cancel the Contract for a valid reason including the Employee's lack of skills, inappropriate behavior, or failure to satisfy the requirements of the Employer (the "Lay Off"). However, the Employee may cancel the Contract with prior written notice, minimum 60 days before quit.

As I understand, 1.) If i were in the probation period, then I need to give seven days prior notice before I can terminate the contract. 2.) After probation period, both parties (employee & employer) can terminate the contract without any notice.

Is there anything wrong with this Analysis? The second point is stated that both parties can terminate the contract without any notice, but point 3 state something else?

So any people can give me an explanation about this so I can get this more clearly?

Note: I have passed the probation period now (3 months require only).

Cambodia Labor Law reference

  • Doesn't #2 refer to the moment in time where the probation ends? And #3 applies to the future, after that? – DJohnM Sep 28 '18 at 17:13
  • @DJohnM I am not sure too really. I thought that I can leave anytime after my probation period is over but when I talk to them, they use the third point to talk to me. – joneysi Sep 28 '18 at 17:32
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After probation period, both parties (employee & employer) can terminate the contract without any notice.

Is there anything wrong with this Analysis?

You may resign without a prior written notice, provided that (1) your employer --not you-- drafted the contract, and (2) Probationary Period reached satisfactory completion. Condition (1) is typically the case in employment relations, and your description purports that you satisfy (2).

Items 2 and 3 clearly contradict each other. One key aspect is whether or not Cambodia applies the doctrine of contra proferentem, which apparently it does. Thus, you are entitled to terminate the contract in accordance with Item 2. Because of the same doctrine, though, your employer would not be allowed to choose Item 2 if you argue that he should comply with Item 3.

Additionally, note that Article 13 provides that the nature of the [Labor] law

is not obstructive to the granting of benefits or the rights superior to the benefits and the rights defined in this law, granted to workers by a unilateral decision of an employer or a group of employers, [or] by an employment contract

(emphasis and brackets added)

Item 2 clearly is such a right. Thus, Article 13 and the language of Item 2 exempt you --insofar as employee-- from the requirements of "prior notice" as enacted in Articles 74 and 75. By contrast, Article 13 mentions no exception premised on rights granted to the employer.

Even if there were such statutory exception to the benefit of the employer, the doctrine of contra proferentem would prevent the employer from taking advantage thereof (as explained in my 2nd paragraph).

  • Would you mind simplify your help as English is not my first language which make it more difficult to me to understand the whole point. Actually you state that contra proferentem would protect me as 2nd and 3rd point is contradict each other but as #sharur state that 2nd point is limit to the period that the probation period is satisfy not after the extended period. So still this doctrine still apply in this case? Another question is that as article 75 is already set so can the contact violent this law? and can I use this reason to protect me while there is article 65? – joneysi Sep 29 '18 at 12:41
  • @joneysi Yes, the doctrine of contra proferentem applies because Item 2 reads "upon", instead of a more restrictive preposition such as "at" (which sharur seems to adopt). The plain meaning of "upon" can refer to both the instant when Probationary Period ends and/or anytime thereafter. Since Item 2 permits two or more reasonable interpretations, the doctrine entitles you to adopt the one that favors you. I did not understand your follow-up question on Articles 75 and 65 (?), but see what I wrote in the answer about Article 13. – Iñaki Viggers Sep 29 '18 at 13:11
  • and there is another question i still curious. My question is that, when I sign the contract, then does the internal regulation and policy protect company against me if it is not written inside the contract? or if it is only told that I have to follow the internal regulation while they are not provide any of those documents to me. – joneysi Sep 29 '18 at 13:23
  • @joneysi The language of the contract you signed outweighs company's allegations to which you have not stipulated. The company is not allowed to pick when to comply with the contract and when to violate it under pretext of "internal regulation". – Iñaki Viggers Sep 29 '18 at 13:41
  • Article 65 state that "It is subject to ordinary law and can be made in a form that is agreed upon by the contracting parties." and in article 75 state that "The minimum period of a prior notice is set as follows: Seven days, if the worker’s length of continuous service is less than six months;" and what if I work for 5 months and in my contract stats that "Employee must give a minimum notice 60 days before quit". So in this situation, do I have to work for 60 days or only 7 days in this case. So please explain me so that I can understand and learn more. – joneysi Sep 29 '18 at 13:43
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I am not a lawyer, and I am not your lawyer.

My reading of the contract has your employees to be correct, as I interpret the contract as similar to how I was hired, a situation called "contract-to-hire".

In essence, there was originally a time-limited contract for three months, distinct from formal employment, which either party could end with 7 days notice.

At the end of that three month period, if you did well enough (which apparently ) they would extend formal employment to you, which you accepted (by continuing to work), but you could have refused (which would amount to terminating the contract without notice); if you didn't do well enough, they wouldn't extend formal employment to you,

Now that you are formally employed, your relationship is governed per Article 75, under which you must give 60 days notice, and they can only fire you for a legal cause(the contract specifies three).

In summary, your ability to end the contract without notice was limited to a specific point, namely the completion of your probationary period.

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