This article discusses the obligation of confidentiality of employees or workers in Cambodia.
Obligation of confidentiality refers to the duty of the employee to safeguard and not to disclose confidential information of the employer or enterprise to any unauthorized person. Confidential information, in general, refers to information which is not publicly known, such as know-how, trade secret, business plan, customer information, account information and other information as informed, labeled or deeded confidential. The definition of confidential information is stated in the employment contract for individual employee or in the internal regulations of the enterprise for all or groups of employees or in both documents.
Under the laws of Cambodia, generally, obligation of confidentiality during the course of employment is contractually and legally imposed on the employees. In practice, employers tend to include clauses on obligation of confidentiality in the employment contracts or to enter into another independent non-disclosure agreements with the employees depending upon the necessity and importance of safeguard for the confidential information of the enterprises. However, even though employers fail to include these obligation as part of the employment contracts or fail to sign separate non-disclosure agreement, this obligation is also imposed on employees by laws.
Pursuant to Article 5 of the Civil Code, employee is under obligation to perform their obligation with good faith and honesty. Accordingly, employee must not disclose confidential information without consent of his or her employer. Even during the contract suspension, the Labor Law requires employee to continue fulfilling the obligation of confidentiality. (Article 72) Employees of banking and financial institutions under the Law on Banking and Financial Institution are subject to the obligation of confidentiality. (Article 47) Furthermore, since breach of confidentiality obligation constitutes serious misconduct, the worker can be dismissed by his or her employer without prior notice. (Article 83, Labor Law)
Obligation of confidentiality is imposed to employee during the course of employment and after the end of the employment. To maintain confidentiality obligation of the worker after employment, most of employers include the obligation of confidentiality in employment contract to protect their confidential or proprietary information after the termination or expiry of the employment contract.
Employee who breaches confidentiality obligation is subject to civil or criminal liability or both. Hence, employees should understand and comply with this obligation.