In 2021, under what circumstances can employees unilaterally terminate the contract in Vietnam?

From Jan 1, 2021 in Vietnam, when Labor Code 2019 takes effect, the right to unilaterally terminate the labor contract of the employee has been prescribed in favor of them.

In 2021, under what circumstances can employees unilaterally terminate the contract in Vietnam? (Illustration)

Specifically, the right of an employee to unilaterally terminates the employment contract is specifically specified in Article 35 of Vietnam's Labor Code 2019.  An employee is shall have the right to unilaterally terminate the employment contract without prior notice if he/she:

  • is not assigned to the work or workplace or not provided with the working conditions as agreed in the employment contract, except in cases of unanticipated difficulties caused by natural disasters, fires, dangerous epidemics, or production and business requirements specified in labor regulations;
  • is not paid adequately or on schedule, except in cases of force majeure, where the employer has tried all measures but is unable to overcome the situation, resulting in late payment of wages;

  • is maltreated, assaulted, physically or verbally insulted by the employer in a manner that affects the employee’s health, dignity or honor; is forced to work against his/her will;

  • is sexually harassed in the workplace;

  • is pregnant and has to stop working (A competent medical facility must confirm that continuing to work will have a negative impact on the fetus);

  • reaches the retirement age unless otherwise agreed by the parties; 

  • finds that the employer fails to provide truthful information in a manner that affects the performance of the employment contract.. Such information includes: information about work; working location; working conditions; working hours; rest time; occupational safety and hygiene; salary; form of payment; insurance. regulations on the protection of business secrets, technology secrets, and other issues directly related to the conclusion of labor contracts requested by employees

In other cases, before leaving, the employee must notify the employer in advance for a certain period of time, specifically:

  • At least 45 days in case of an indefinite-term employment contract;
  • At least 30 days in case of an employment contract with a fixed term of 12 – 36 months;

  • At least 03 working days in case of an employment contract with a fixed term of under 12 months;

Note: For some specific industries, occupations, and jobs, the notice period shall follow the government's regulations.

Thus, unlike the provisions of the current labor law, Vietnam's Labor Code 2019 allows employees to terminate their labor contracts (even if they are indefinite or definite contracts) without notice in advance and without compensation if they themselves are violated by acts that hurt their rights, physically and mentally (as listed above). In addition, the new regulation also eases the unilateral termination of the employee's contract, allowing them to quit without reason if they notify the employer in advance within the prescribed time limit for employees, which depends on each type of labor contract.

See more details at Vietnam's Labor Code 2019, effective from January 1, 2021.

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