Annual Leave and Holidays

This page was last updated on: 2021-11-22

Paid Vacation / Annual Leave

The Labour Law provides for annual leave to all workers on completion of one year of service. The full time workers, working 48 hours a week, are entitled to 1.5 days of annual leave for one month of service. This means 18 working days for 12 months of service. Employees working less than 48 hours per week get annual leave on a pro-rata basis. For example, workers working 40 hours per week are entitled to 1.25 working days of annual leave per month of service which equals 15 working days of annual leave. Similarly, those working 24 hours per week are entitled to 9 working days of annual leave (0.75 days of leave for one month of service).

Annual leave also increases with the length of service. The increase in annual leave is one day of extra leave for every 3 years of continuous service. A worker is entitled to his normal wages in the duration of his/her annual leave. The payment has to be made before leave is taken. The payment for annual leave is based either on employee's average actual earnings during the year prior to taking leave or daily wages the employee would have been paid if they went to work, whichever is higher.

In general, annual leave is given for Khmer New Year unless there is an agreement between the employer and worker. In the case of annual leave exceeding 15 days, employer may grant the remaining annual leave at some other time during the year however splitting of leave is not allowed for children under 18 years and apprentices.

If the employment contract expires before a worker could acquire the right to annual leave, compensation for leave is made in proportion to the number of months and numbers of hours worked in a week. Apart from this provision, any agreement, collective agreement or other agreement, providing compensation in lieu of annual leave or renouncing or waiving the right to paid annual leave is null and void. A worker may however accept to defer all or part of his annual leave until the termination of contract. Nonetheless, such deferment cannot exceed three consecutive years and can apply only to the leave exceeding 12 working days per year.

Sources: §166-170 of the Labour Law, promulgated by Royal Order No. CS/RKM/0397/01 of 13 March 1997 (amended in 2021)

Pay on Public Holidays

Workers are entitled to paid days-off during Festival (public and religious) holidays. These include memorial holidays and religious holidays (Buddhist origin).

Public Holidays are set by Prakas (decrees) every year. According to the Praka issued by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, workers are entitled to following public holidays in 2018: International New Year Day (1 January), Victory Day over Genocide (7 January), Meakh Bochea Day (31 January), International Women's Day (8 March), Khmer New Year Days (14-16 April: 3 days), International Labour Day (1st May), Visak Bochea Day (29 April), Royal Plowing Ceremony (3 May), King Norodom Sihamoni’s Birthday (13-15 May: 3 days), International Children’s Days (1st June), Queen Monineath's Birthday (18th June), Pchum Ben Days (08-10 September: 3 days), Constitutional Day (24th September), Respect the spirit of the late King Father (15th October), Paris Peace Agreement Day (23rd October), Coronation Day of King Sihamoni (29th October), Water Festival (21-23 November: 3 days), National Independence Day (9th November), and International Human Rights Day (10th December).

If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, workers are given a day-off on the following working day. Several articles of the 1997 Labour Law have been amended by the Royal Order No. NS/RKM/1021/011 dated 5 October 2021. Under the amended article 162 of the Labour Law, workers no longer get a substitute day off when a public holiday falls on a Sunday. Cambodia has one of the highest public holidays in the world. Depending on the number of public holidays falling on Sundays, the amendment has the potential to reduce the effective number of public holidays for workers.

The dates of Visak Bochea Day, Royal Plowing Ceremony Day, Pchum Ben Days, and Water Festival change every year.

Sources: §161-165 of the Labour Law, promulgated by Royal Order No. CS/RKM/0397/01 of 13 March 1997 (amended in 2021); Praka No. 248 K.B/Br.K; Praka No. 416 K.B/Br.K 2016; Praka No. 493 of 2018

Weekly Rest Days

Workers are entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest per week. Labour Law requires that weekly rest day, in principle, should be Sunday for all employees.  In case, providing the same day- off for all staff is detrimental to the public or jeopardizes the normal operation of the enterprise, weekly rest may be provided on day other than Sunday or from Sunday noon to Monday noon or by providing it on rotation basis for all staff. However, permission must be sought from the Ministry of Labour.

Law permits many industries to rotate the weekly rest day which include, among others, the manufacturers of food stuffs intended for immediate consumption, hotels, restaurants and bars, industries using materials that rapidly deteriorate, hospitals, hospices, health clinics, utility suppliers, industries performing work for safety, sanitation or public utility.

In the event of urgency that the work must be carried out immediately for preventing imminent accidents or to repair damages to the materials or facility installations or building of the establishment, the weekly time-off may be suspended for the staff required to perform such urgent work. The suspension of weekly time-off under emergency measures is not applicable to women and young workers under 18 years of age.

Guards and caretakers in industrial and commercial establishments who cannot take day-off on Sunday must have a compensatory time off on another day of the week. In retail food stores, the weekly break can be given from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon or by rotating the shift for a one-day break per week. The weekly rest day may be cancelled upon authorization from the Labor Inspector if it coincides with a local public holiday. Each worker deprived of the weekly break must be given a compensatory time off in the following week. In enterprises where bad weather results in unplanned days-off, these forced days-off can be deducted from weekly breaks up to a maximum of two days per month.

If the weekly rest day is provided collectively to all workers on one day, legible notice indicating the days and hours of the time-off must be posted in a conspicuous place at the workplace. If the weekly rest day is not provided collectively, there must be a special list indicating the names of workers subject to particular weekly rest schedule.

If the employer wants to suspend the weekly rest day, he must request authorization from the Labor Inspector and, except for force majeure, must do so before the work commences. The employer must explain to the Labor Inspector about the circumstances justifying the suspension of the weekly rest, indicate the date and duration of the suspension, specify the number of workers to which the suspension applies, and indicate the plan for providing compensatory time off. If the Labor Inspector refuses to authorize the suspension of the weekly rest, he must inform the employer in writing within four days upon receipt of the request. Lack of notification is considered valid authorization for suspension of the weekly rest.

Labour Law does not clearly specify rest breaks (during working hours) and daily rest periods (except for young workers where it specifies at least 11 hours of night rest for young workers). Relevant prakas could not be located.

Sources: §145-160 and 176 of the Labour Law, promulgated by Royal Order No. CS/RKM/0397/01 of 13 March 1997 (amended in 2021)

Regulations on Annual Leave and Holidays

  • Labour Law, promulgated by Royal Order No. CS/RKM/0397/01 of 13 March 1997 (amended in 2018)
  • Prakas No. 248 K.B/Br.K