Hire in Cambodia
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Cambodia.
Cambodian Riel (KHR)
The Capital of Cambodia
Time Zone in Cambodia
Important Facts About the Country of Cambodia
Introduction to Cambodia
Cambodia, officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. The country has a population of over 15 million people. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, which serves as the political, economic and cultural center of Cambodia.
What to Know about Cambodia's Geography
Cambodia spans 181,035 square kilometers and is bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.
Climate in Cambodia
In Cambodia, a Southeast Asian country overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, the climate is tropical and hot all year round. There is a rainy season from May to mid-November, due to the southwest monsoon, and a dry season from mid-November to April. Since the country is not large, the climate is generally uniform.
The Culture of Cambodia
Throughout nearly two millennia, Cambodians developed a unique Khmer belief from the syncretism of indigenous animistic beliefs and the Indian religions of Buddhism and Hinduism. Indian culture and civilization, including its language and arts, arrived in Cambodia around the 1st century AD.
Religions Observed in Cambodia
Buddhism is the official religion of Cambodia. Approximately 97% of Cambodia’s population follows Theravada Buddhism. Islam, Christianity and tribal animism comprise the bulk of the small remainder.
Languages Spoken in Cambodia
Khmer is Cambodia’s single official language. It is spoken by nearly 90% of the country’s population. The language is used in government administration, education, media, etc. After the Vietnamese language, Khmer is the world’s second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language.
Cambodian Human Resources at a Glance
Employment Law Protections in Cambodia
Cambodian labor relations, employment terms and other labor-related matters are regulated by the Constitution as well the 1992 Labor Law and the 1997 Labor Law. These laws offer protections and considerable rights for laborers and unions.
The Cambodian Labor Law (and related regulations) regulate all employer-employee relations where work is performed within Cambodia. The nationality of the employer or the employee is irrelevant. It also does not matter where the labor contract was signed. As long as the work is performed in Cambodia, the labor law will apply.
As a matter of public policy, none of the rights or statutory benefits outlined in the Labor Law may be abrogated by any contract or other agreement between an organization and the employee. The benefits and protections prescribed by the Labor Law must be treated as the minimum guarantee. The company is free to offer more generous terms, though it is not required to do so.
The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT) was established by the government. It covers all employment in Cambodia except judges of the judiciary, persons appointed to a permanent post in the public service, personnel of the police, army, personnel serving in the air and maritime transportation who are regulated by a special legislation. Domestic or household servants are also excluded.
Employment Contracts in Cambodia
The contract should include primary information such as type of contract, passport details, start date, end date, position, salary, benefits and job description. Any element of an employment contract that fails to outline these details is deemed invalid. To be covered by the Labor Law, an individual must:
- perform work and be remunerated
- be under the direction and supervision of another person.
In the case of independent contractors, or others under contract to perform a specific task, the second condition might not apply. This exempts them from the Labor Law completely.
An employment contract is legally required and must be written and signed by both the employee and employer.
- There are two types of contracts: Undetermined Duration Contract (UDC) and Fixed Duration Contract (FDC).
- Under the Cambodian Labor Law, a contract for work to be performed is defined as a fixed duration contract.
FDC applies if:
- The contract is written,
- The contract contains specific start and finish dates
- The maximum contract duration, including any renewal period, must not exceed a total of four years.
If any of these conditions are not met, then the contract is defined as a contract of unspecified duration (UDC). Thus, any employee who has been working continuously for a single employer for greater than two years will automatically be determined to be on an UDC.
If a contract meets the requirements necessary to be an FDC, but the work continues past the contract’s expiration date without a renewal, then the contract will automatically become an UDC. The UDC will have no fixed expiration and it will not end unless it is terminated by either party.
Cambodia's Contract Terms
An employment contract in Cambodia must comply with the basic minimum parameters set by the Labor Law but it can be tailored.
All employers must be registered with the Ministry of Labor. Upon opening and closing, employers must file a declaration with the Ministry of Labor. This declaration must be filed prior to opening if the organization has eight or more employees. If it has fewer than eight employees, the declaration must be made within 30 days of opening. The labor inspector can conduct surprise inspections on any organization and fine them for failing to make the declaration. A declaration of closing must be filed within 30 days of the organization closing its doors.
Cambodia's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period
A probation period must not last longer than three months for regular employees, two months for specialized workers and one month for non-specialized workers.
Cambodian Laws Regarding Overtime
Overtime must be compensated at the following rates:
- 150% of the employee’s wages, if the overtime is completed before 10 p.m.
- 200% of the employee’s wages, if the overtime is scheduled after 10 p.m., on Sunday, or on a public holiday
In any event, overtime is generally limited to two hours per shift
Cambodia's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods
Both the employer and the employee must give prior written notice when terminating a UDC. The notice period is determined by the length of continuous service as follows:
- <6 months – 7 calendar days
- between 6 months – 2 years -15 calendar days
- >two years – 5 years – 1 calendar month
- >5 years – 10 years – 2 calendar months
- >10 years -3 calendar months
For expiration or non-renewal of an FDC, the notice period is:
- 10 days for an FDC that is more than six months and up to one year in duration
- 15 days for an FDC that is more than one year and up to two years in duration
Rules Regading Bonus and 13th Month Pay in Cambodia
Bonuses are not compulsory in Cambodia so their disbursement depends on company policy. Most companies pay a 13th month bonus.
In practice, the company pays a bonus from one to four months based on performance and company budget.
An employee engaged on a probationary basis may be terminated for a just cause in Cambodia. An employee may also be terminated if he or she fails to qualify as a regular employee, in accordance with reasonable standards. These standards must be made known by the employer to the employee at the time of his or her engagement. The employer should give seven days’ prior notice and pay the remaining salary.
Seniority Payments / Severance Pay in Cambodia
Previously, severance was payable only upon termination of a UDC by an employer, except for serious misconduct committed by an employer. From 2019, with the amendments to the Labor Law, ‘seniority’ payments replace ‘severance’ payments. Seniority payments must now be paid to employees on UDCs every six months.
Seniority payments equate to 15 days of wages and fringe benefits per year and must be paid to employees two times per year according to the following schedule:
- 7.5 days of wages and fringe benefits are to be paid in June each year.
- 7.5 days of wages and fringe benefits are to be paid in December each year.
Once a month of employment has successfully been completed, new employees will be entitled to the payment in June or December of that particular year. This happens irrespective of whether they complete the entire six months of service, except in the event of termination following serious misconduct. The Labor Law is unclear concerning employees under probation or in cases where an employee resigns.
For employees under FDCs, a severance payment of at least 5% of the total wages due throughout the term of the contract must continue to be paid. Generally, an FDC terminates at the end of the term specific in the contract. An FDCcan be terminated prematurely only if one of the following circumstances exist:
- Both parties agree in writing and sign the agreement in the presence of the labor inspector
- There has been serious misconduct by either party
- An act of God makes the completion of the contract impossible
Any termination initiated by an employer in violation of this rule entitles the employee to the remaining pay under the contract. If the employee quits in violation of this rule, they are required to compensate the organization damages resulting from the contract’s termination. The amount of damages can be difficult to calculate and will depend on the circumstances.
Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Cambodia
Personal Income Tax in Cambodia
A Cambodian resident’s worldwide income is subject to Cambodia salary tax. Non-residents are taxed on Cambodian-sourced income. The rate for non-residents is a flat 20% of Cambodian-sourced income only. This is defined as income earned from employment services in Cambodia. Fringe benefits are also taxable at a flat rate of 20%.
Salary tax rates for residents
|Monthly Salary (Riels)||Tax Rate %|
|0 – 1,500,000||0%|
|1,500,001 – 2,000,000||5%|
|2,000,001 – 8,500,000||10%|
|8,500,001 – 12,500,000||15%|
Tax on salary is tiered from 5% – 20% and is based on salary (same as regular pay).
Taxable salary includes basic remuneration, wages, bonuses, overtime and other allowances. The tax on salary should be withheld from the paycheck by the employer on behalf of the employee. The tax is due to the General Department of Taxation by the 20th calendar day of the month, following the salary payment. If this falls on a holiday or weekend, then the payment is due the following business day.
Social Insurance (SI) for Foreign Employees
Beyond the compulsory National Social Security Fund (NSSF), there is no legal requirement for insurance. However, employers tend to offer GPA, H&S and life insurance.
Important Information for Cambodian Employees
- Manual laborers must be paid at least twice per month and paydays must not be more than 16 days apart.
- Regular employees must be paid at least once a month.
- Any employee working on a commission basis must be paid at least once every three months.
Payslips can be provided digitally or on paper. In practice, it is usually provided digitally.
The Ministry of Labor issues a Prakas each year outlining the number and dates of paid public holidays. Starting in 2020, there are approximately 22 public holidays. If such a holiday falls on a Sunday, employees must be given the following Monday off.
Organizations are required to offer employees paid annual leave of 1.5 days per month. This requirement is capped at a total of 18 days per year. Employees are entitled to an additional day of leave per year for every three years of continuous service. For example, after the third year of an employee’s continuous service, the number of paid annual leave days will be increased to 19 days per year. After six years, it will be increased to 20 days per year.
The Labor Law generally does not regulate the matter of sick leave, other than requiring an organization to suspend a contract for up to six months in case of illness. In other words, the employer must reserve a sick employee’s position, without pay, for at least six months.
The Arbitration Council and certain Prakas have found that every organization must implement internal regulations to offer sick leave to employees when they present certification from a doctor confirming illness. This allotment for sick leave is separate from annual leave.
Maternity & Paternity Leave
Expectant mothers are entitled to 90 days of maternity leave after one year of continuous service. There is no restriction on whether the leave must start before or after the birth.
Employees are entitled to 50% of their normal wages and benefits during maternity leave (employer pays). If the employee has not completed one year of work, she will be entitled to maternity leave without pay.
Special leave (deducted from annual leave): Sick child, funeral of parents or relatives, wedding
Employees in Cambodia are required to undergo a physical examination prior to commencing work. The medical check must be conducted every two years. Additional examinations may be required for certain occupations,
The physical examination may be taken at the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) or by a health facility. When the examination is complete, the employee will be issued a Physical Examination Certificate.
Timesheets are not compulsory and are rarely used. Biometrics (fingerprint checking) are becoming popular.
Timesheets must detail the hour and scope of work that have been done.
Unions are allowed by law but are generally for unskilled workers.
Benefits to the Employee in Cambodia
Cambodian Statutory Benefits
National Social Security Fund (NSSF)
- The NSSF administers benefits and compensation to all NSSF members. This covers work-related injuries as well as non-work injuries, preventative health and personal health. The Occupational Risk Scheme focuses on benefits for injured workers. The Healthcare Scheme is focused on the offering of healthcare packages and health prevention services. Healthcare packages refers to medical care services, patient or victim referral service, corpse transportation and daily allowance.
- The benefits are categorized as:
- Medical treatment benefit
- Temporary disablement benefit
- Nursing benefit
- Permanent disablement benefit
- Constant attendance benefit
- Survivors benefit.
Injured employees are provided with medical treatment benefits including medical care and transportation.
Benefits are regarded as an employer’s responsibility, hence all contributions to the NSSF are borne by the employer. Contribution to the occupational risk scheme is provided by the employer at 0.8% of an employee’s gross salary. Contribution to the healthcare scheme is provided by the employer at 2.6% of the employee’s gross salary. The maximum contribution per month is approximately USD 10 per employee.
Under Decree No. 32, all employees (including foreign nationals) will be covered by the pension plan. All employees must be registered with the NSSF by their employers within three days of starting work. Employers and employees will contribute equal percentages to the NSSF. The coverage includes old-age, invalidity, survivors and funeral allowances. These benefits are payable at age 60 with 12 months of contributions.
In the first five years of its implementation, NSSF rates for the pension scheme will be equivalent to 4% of the gross monthly salary of the worker contributed to the pension scheme. Of this, 2% of the NSSF rate shall be borne by the employer and 2% by the worker. For the second five year period, the rate is expected to be 8% and thereafter increasing by 2.75% in each successive 10-year period.
|Employer (%)||Employee (%)|
|Occupational Risks Contribution||0.8||0.0|
|Health Care Contribution||2.6||0.0|
|Maximum Monthly Contribution (estimated)||KHR 64,800 / USD 16||KHR 24,000 / USD 6|
*The above table serves as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged by GoGlobal will differ.
- Supplemental insurances: Beyond the compulsory NSSF, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide insurance. However, employers tend to offer GPA, H&S and life insurance (rare).
- Additional benefits: Sometimes employers offer benefits such as study allowance, family healthcare AND child education. In practice, the employer may also offer stipends for transportation, accommodations and phone.
The employer may offer transportation and phone. Some big companies may offer Child Education Benefits.
At the expiration of the contract, employees on FDCs (Fixed Duration Contract) are entitled to a severance of at least 5% of the wages paid during the contract period.
Overtime must be compensated:
- At 150% of the employee’s wages, if the overtime is completed before 10 pm.
- At 200% of the employee’s wages, if the overtime is scheduled after 10 pm, on Sunday, or a public holiday.
- In any event, overtime is generally limited to 2 hours per shift.
Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Cambodia
Foreigners working in Cambodia must have:
- A work permit issued by Cambodia’s Ministry of Labor. This is valid for one calendar year, and is renewable indefinitely. It consists of a Work Permit Card.
- A valid passport, visa and residence permit (issued by the employee’s local Sangkat office).
- A health certificate issued by the Ministry of Labor, Health Department, verifying the person does not have any contagious diseases and is physically fit for the job.
The employer is not obliged to sponsor the employee with the visa. In practice, the employer usually pays but this depends on the negotiated terms.
Foreigners working in Cambodia should apply and possess a business visa. In order to apply for a business visa, the applicant will need to have their original passport and the employee contract. It takes up to 14 working days to receive the visa after applying.
Employers in Cambodia are generally subject to a quota for employing foreigners, capped at a maximum of 10% of the total workforce. However, employers may request to employ foreigners beyond the allowable quota if they are unable to hire Cambodians with suitable skills.
Public Holidays Recognized by Cambodia in 2023
|1||International New Year Day||01.Jan.2023|
|2||Victory Day over Genocidal||07.Jan.2023|
|3||International Women’s Day||08.Mar.2023|
|4||Khmer New Year’s Day||14-16.Apr.2023|
|5||International Labor Day||01.May.2023|
|6||Visaka Bochea Day||04.May.2023|
|7||Royal Ploughing Ceremony||08.May.2023|
|8||King Norodom Sihamoni’s Birthday||14.May.2023|
|9||Queen Monineath’s Birthday||18.Jun.2023|
|11||Pchum Ben Day||13-15.Oct.2023|
|12||Respect the spirit of the late King Father||15.Oct.2023|
|13||Coronation Day of King Sihamoni||29.Oct.2023|
|14||National Independence Day||09.Nov.2023|
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