I was asked by a reader regarding paid annual leave during probationary period. Is a worker entitled to take annual leave during the probationary period? In order to answer this question, it is crucial to understand the rules of the probationary period and those of the paid annual leave.
1. Probationary period
Probationary period is a period agreed by the parties to employment contract which is not longer than the period necessary for the employer to evaluate the professional fitness of the workers and for the worker to understand the real working conditions of an enterprise. (Art. 68 of the Labor Law) The maximum probationary period is limited to 3 months for employee, 2 months for specialized worker and 1 month for non-specialized worker. Under Article 82 of the Labor Law, either employer or worker can terminate the employment contract during the probationary period at any time without obligation of giving prior notice. The text on probationary period is available at this link https://noplegal.com/2018/12/05/labor-and-employment-law-probationary-period/
2. Annual leave
Annual leave is one the paid leaves granted to workers under the Labor Law of Cambodia. Annual leave is calculated at the rate of one and a half work days of paid leave per months of continuous service. (Art. 166, Labor Law) The purpose of annual leave is to encourage workers to take leave as a realization of the right to take rest and leisure which is the international rights enshrined in Article 35 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Consequently, the Labor Law of Cambodia, in particular Article 167, invalidates any agreement that provides compensation in place of this annual leave as well as agreement that renounces or waives the right to annual leave. The text on annual leave is available at this link Annual Leave in Cambodia
Under the same Article 167 of the Labor Law, the right to use annual leave is acquired after one year of service. Since probationary period normally takes place at the beginning of the employment relation, the worker is not allowed to take annual leave during the probationary period.
Practically, there might be practices where employers allow workers to take un-paid leave or to take paid annual leave during the probationary period. These practices are valid ones since they provide workers with better benefits than the provisions of Labor Law do. (Art. 13, Labor Law)
This article is not legal advice or opinion.