Dear Sir / Madame,
I am not sure whether this is the right place to post my question. However I do have a dispute with my employer related to the duration of my assignment. In my contract the following sentence is written.
Your location for this assignment shall be Singapore with a minimum assignment period of 3 years; which will automatically be extended with another period of 3 years after your first full year of overseas employment, unless agreed differently.
I hope you are able to tell me for how long my assignment period is valid, taken into account that the first full year of employment is already due.
Thanks for your prompt reply!
There is indeed a little dispute. The company tells me it is 4 years. I say it is 6 years, due to the fact that "which will automatically be extended with another 3 years" refers to the already existing period of minimum 3 years.
Unfortunately there are no other clauses in the contract related to the assignment or relocation.
I would read it as 6 years.
I would read it as six years too.
You are assigned there for three years in the first instance and, provided you complete Year 1 of those three, the three-year assignment will automatically be extended by another three years, making a total of six.
I don't really understand why they didn't just call it a six-year contract, which would only be honoured if you complete Year 1. However, surely if you don't complete Year 1, it doesn't matter what the rest of the contract says. If you quit your job before the end of year 1, it makes no difference what your contract said.
I agree that you need an employment lawyer's advice, not ours.
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
One way of understanding this bit of writing is:
1. Your initial assignment was Singapore.
2. You were required to stay in Singapore for at least (minimum assignment) three years.
3. If you stay in Singapore for at least one year, the agreement shall be extended for an additional three years.
If read as above, you are guaranteed four years of employment.