The Cambodian Labor Law 1997 defines two types of employment
contracts. They are: fixed duration employment contract (FDC) and Undetermined
duration employment contract (UDC) depending on the terms and conditions agreed
upon the contract.
Now, in this article we discuss only fixed duration
What are the criteria for fixed duration employment
Cambodia's Labor Law states that the criteria for a contract
which is a specific fixed duration employment contract is a contract which is
made in a form that is agreed upon by the contracting parties in writing with a
specific starting and ending date and shall not be over two years.
Article 67, paragraph 2 of the Labor Law says: "The labor
contract signed with consent for a specific duration cannot be for a period
longer than two years. It can be renewed one or more times, as long as the
renewal does not surpass the maximum duration of two years.
Article 73, paragraph 5 of the same law determines that the
employer shall inform workers of the expiration of the contract. If there is no
prior notice, the contract shall be extended for a length of time equal to its
initial duration or deemed as a contract of unspecified duration if its total
length exceeds the time limit specified in Article 67.
According to the above Articles, a fixed duration employment
contract can be made for any period of less than or equal to two years.
However, if the duration of the contract initially signed continues over two
years, the contract automatically becomes an undetermined duration employment
Example: Sok signed an employment contract with his employer
for a period of six months. At the end of this contract, Sok and his employer
(the boss) agreed to renew that contract for another six month. This renewal
continued five times. The total time for these five renewals was 30 months;
this is more than two years. Sok's employment contract therefore, became an
undetermined duration employment contract.
In a practical application of this, the Arbitration Council
issued Award Case # 64/07, Award Case
#02/04, and Award Case #10/03. These decisions were made based on the ILO's
directive, 1982, No. 166, paragraph 3 and Article 67, paragraph 2 of the
Cambodia's Labor Law. This means a contract can be renewed many times when the
period of the renewal does not exceed two years. The calculation is based on
the total length of the renewals not the length of each renewal.
In conclusion, we can say that a fixed duration
employment contract will legally become an undetermined duration employment
contract when the total length of the renewals exceeds two years. On the
contrary, it is not valid for an execution, if the period of the performance
exceeds two years, and the employee and the employer intend to change the undetermined
duration employment contract to the fixed duration employment contract. To do
so is not executable because it is against the Labor Law of the Kingdom of