This article provides an overview on working conditions for domestic or household workers in Cambodia.
1. Who is domestic worker?
Pursuant to Prakas No. 235 dated 29 May 2018 on working conditions for domestic workers issued by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, domestic worker refers to any person who performs one or more than one domestic works on voluntary basis for remuneration. Any person, who only does one or more than one domestic works occasionally or irregularly and does not base on any profession, is not called domestic worker.
Domestic work refers to all kinds of works performed in or for a certain family, and such works include but are not limited to cleaning, cooking, laundry, ironing, childcare, care for elder persons, care for family members, garden care, property maintenance, driving family car and pet care in the family. (Article 1, Prakas No.235)
2. Domestic work contract
All works assigned to a domestic worker must be clearly stated in a written contract. (Article 6, Prakas No. 235) Each domestic worker and his or her employer must execute a written employment contract in compliance with laws and regulations in force in Cambodia.
The employment contract for domestic worker must include the following:
- Names and addresses of the employer and domestic worker;
- Address of the place where domestic work is performed;
- Commencement date;
- Types of works to be performed;
- Wage, method of wage calculation and wage payment;
- Normal working hours;
- Paid annual leave, daily time off and weekly time off;
- Foods and accommodation (if any);
- Probationary period which must not be more than one month (if any);
- Conditions on arrangement for domestic workers to return his or her hometown (house) (if any);
- Conditions in relation to termination of employment contract, such as prior notice of termination by the domestic worker or employer (if any)
3. Working conditions for domestic workers
- Age of domestic worker: Domestic worker must be at least 18 years old. However, child whose age is from 15 year to under 18 years may be allowed to do any light domestic work which is not hazardous to health. (Article 4, Prakas No. 235)
- Foods, accommodation and medical examination and treatment: If the domestic worker stays with the family that is his or her workplace, the employer must provide domestic worker with food, suitable accommodation, and primary medical examination and treatment during illness. (Article 6, Prakas No. 235)
- Weekly time off: The weekly time off for domestic worker must be a minimum period of 24 consecutive hours. In principle, weekly time off must be on Sunday. However, if there is a voluntary agreement of the domestic worker, weekly time off can be taken on any other day in the same week. (Article 9, paragraph 1, Prakas No. 235)
- Public holiday: Provisions of Prakas of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training on paid public holiday also apply to the domestic workers. Domestic workers who work on the public holiday are entitled to wage equal to 200% of the wage of normal working day. (Article 9, paragraph 2 and 3, Prakas No. 235)
- Wage payment: The employer must pay directly to worker in cash or through bank based on the voluntary agreement between the domestic worker and employer. The monthly wage of the domestic worker must be made on the working day and must be informed to worker in advance about the date of wage payment. Wage payment must be made once every 15 days if there is request from the domestic worker or if there is clause in the employment agreement. (Article 10, Prakas No. 235)
- Prohibition of forced labor and slavery: All domestic works that are compulsory or obligatory, works for paying off debt, and works in form of serious form and slavery are prohibited. (Article 12, Prakas No. 235)
- Work-related accident: Employer must be responsible for all work-related accidents that fall on the domestic worker and for social security schemes as required in relevant laws and regulations of Cambodia. (Article 13, Prakas No. 235)
4. Dispute resolution
For all labor disputes arising between domestic worker and employer, both disputing parties must try their best to resolve the dispute through peaceful mechanisms. If the dispute is not resolved amicably, any disputing party can send the case to the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training for those who are in Phnom Penh City and provincial departments of labor and vocational training for those who are in provinces. The resolution of dispute must be based on employment contract, legal provisions in relation to labor and other instructions in force. If there is no reconciliation, either disputing party can bring the case to the court. (Article 11, Prakas No. 235)
Foreign employer residing in Cambodia and hiring Cambodian domestic worker to work in or for his or her family must properly comply with all provisions of Prakas No. 235 and other relevant instructions. (Article 8, Prakas No. 235)
Please also note that the working conditions mentioned above or in Prakas No. 235 do not apply to person who has been allowed to live with the family and has been assigned to assist to perform the domestic works by receiving the same rights, treatments, protections and benefits with other members of the family. (Article 3, Prakas No. 235)
This text is not legal advice or opinion.
Source: Prakas No. 235 dated 29 May 2018 on working conditions for domestic workers, issued by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training