A court in Ho Chi Minh City has accepted a lawsuit filed by five foreign teachers against a Singaporean-owned education company for terminating their labor contracts.
The teachers are each suing Raffles International Vocational Training Ltd., Co. (Raffles Vietnam) for between VND180 million and over VND200 million (US$8,600-9,500) in unpaid salaries.
According to the suit, between March 5 and April 9 of this year Raffles Vietnam unilaterally terminated its contracts with teachers Seidel Franziska and Nicole Mandy Baudisch (German), Alfredo De La Casa Ayuso (UK), Joshe Lane Flaten (US) and Philippe Daniel Neyroud (Switzerland).
The company claimed that its decision was in accordance with Vietnamese law because the Ministry of Education and Training had suspended the institution for offering illegal courses.
According to Vietnamese law, employers can unilaterally terminate labor contracts with their employees, in case they have to scale down their business due to natural disasters or any other force majeure.
However, the teachers said when the company ended their contracts, it had been ordered to stop its illegal courses only, not the entire business.
HCMC's authorities revoked the company's license on March 22 after it was found enrolling students for college and postgraduate programs at its centers in HCMC and Hanoi over the past seven years.
The company had only been licensed to offer short vocational courses in English, marketing, business administration, accounting and tourism.