In this text, I am going to discuss a topic relating to suspension of fixed-term employment contract based on the Labor Law of Cambodia. In particular, I am going to discuss whether or not suspension of contract will stop counting the seniority or length of service of the employee with his or her employer.
For example, the employment contract was concluded for a fixed period of one year starting from 5 January 2019 to 4 January 2020. The employee was seriously sick and hospitalized for 3 months from 5 February 2019 to 4 May 2019. Pursuant to Article 71 of the Labor Law, absence of the employee for illness which is certified by a qualified doctor is one of the reasons for the suspension of employment contract.
Article 72 of the Labor Law provides that the suspension of employment contract affects only the main obligations of the parties to the contract. Those obligations are employee’s obligation to work for the employer and employer’s obligation to pay wage to the employee. It is quite reasonable and acceptable that if there is no work performed by the employee, there should be no payment of wage by the employer to the employee.
The same article further provides that other obligations such as furnishing of accommodation by the employer, as well as the employee’s loyalty and confidentiality towards the employer continue to be in effect during the period of suspension of employment contract. The suspension does not suspend the union mandate or that of the employees’ representatives. Last but not least, the same article clearly stipulates that unless otherwise specified in the Labor Law, period of suspension of employment contract is taken into account when calculating the employment seniority.
According to the above provisions of the Labor Law, period of employment contract suspension will be counted to calculate the total period of fixed-term contract. If we apply this rule to the above example, the period of 3 months during which the employee was seriously sick is also counted as part of the total period of fixed-term employment contract. Hence, the contract expires on 4 January 2020.
This text is not legal advice or opinion.