International German School in Saigon loses appeal in $87,000 compensation case

By Nguyen Quy
June 30, 2018 | 08:08 am GMT+7

Court upholds previous judgment that a teacher was dismissed in violation of Vietnamese law.

A court in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday upheld a first instance judgment that the International German School (IGS) pays VND2 billion ($87,000) in compensation to a dismissed employee.

The compensation was ordered on the grounds that the school had unilaterally terminated an employment contract in violation of Vietnamese law.

Vietnamese German Nguyen Viet Hong, 35, had worked for the school since 2013 on a monthly salary of VND88 million ($3,826) plus an allowance of VND200 million a year, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

In July 2015, when his employment contract expired, the school didn’t renew it, but Hong continued to work with an unchanged salary.

In March 2016, the school sent a notice to Hong, saying he would be dismissed in April 2016 for his disrespectful attitude to the staff and violations of the school’s regulations.

Realizing that the contract termination was illegal, Hong reported the case to the labor department in District 2 and took the school to court.

His lawyer argued that under Vietnamese law, failure to sign a new employment contract within 30 days of expiry of the previous one while the employee continues to work renders the old contract one of indefinite duration.

At the time of the contract termination in April 2016, the school hasn’t signed any new contract with Hong while he stayed on the job and was paid his full monthly salary.

A trial court last February had ordered IGS to compensate Hong with VND2 billion. The school filed an appeal against the ruling.