Cambodian Labor Law: Weekly Time Off

This article briefly discusses weekly time off- a kind of paid leave granted to worker weekly. The Labor Law, in particular Article 146, prohibits employer from using the same worker for more than 6 days per week and further provides, in Article 147, that weekly time off must last for a minimum period of 24 consecutive hours. In principle, all workers must be given a day off on Sunday.

In 2002, the Ministry in Charge of Labor (Ministry of Social Affairs, Labor, Vocational Training and Youth Rehabilitation at the time) issued a Prakas No.142 allowing the employers to make arrangement of working hours in the week so that the workers can take Saturday evening off in addition to weekly day off on Sunday. According to Article 1 of the said Prakas, the employer may arrange to have worker working for 5 days and a half per week and increase working hours of the workers to the maximum of 9 hours per days. Employers who wish to have such arrangement must obtain prior approval of union having representativeness status and shop steward or more than haft of workers via secret vote if there are no shop steward and union in the enterprise. (Article 3, Prakas No.142) Therefore, it is interpreted that weekly time off is 1day and a half which start from Saturday evening to Sunday.

Is it a violation of Labor Law if the employer allows workers to have weekly time off for 2 days which fall on Saturday and Sunday? Article 13 of the Labor Law provides that the provisions of the Labor Law are of the nature of public order, excepting derogations provided expressly. Consequently, all rules resulted from a unilateral decision, a contract or a convention that do not comply with the provisions of this law or any legal text for its enforcement, are null and void. Except for the provisions of this law that cannot be derogated in any way, the nature of public order of this law is not obstructive to the granting of benefits or the rights superior to the benefits and the rights defined in this law, granted workers by a unilateral decision of an employer or a group of employers, by an employment contract, by a collective convention or agreement, or by an arbitral decision. Since such practice of giving weekly day off for 2 days is beneficial to workers, pursuant to Article 13 of the Labor Law, it is valid and in compliance with the Labor Law.

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