The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has told factories and companies to give paid holiday for workers and staff on October 5-7 for Pchum Ben, and that those who voluntarily work during the three days are entitled to additional pay, as per the labour law.
Cambodian Buddhists will observe Pchum Ben for 15 days from September 22 to October 6, with a primary three-day period of festivities from October 5-7 recognised as public holidays. The half-month is dedicated to their ancestors and is an occasion for families to get together.
To sustain productivity in the workplace, employers and worker representatives may organise work shifts during the holiday, but only with the consent of the staff members concerned, the ministry suggested in a statement on September 17.
The ministry ordered employers to maintain a list of staff who will work over the three-day period for a ministerial inspection team to look over.
It highlighted that those who work over the holiday “are entitled to additional allowance equal to the wage that they would earn on normal working days”.
The ministry advised workers who take holidays to abide by its health counterpart’s prevention measures for managing risks related to Covid-19 and food poisoning.
Fa Saly, president of the National Trade Union Confederation, told The Post on September 19 that he was concerned that the coming holidays will cause the transmission of Covid-19 to increase. He questioned what the health ministry would do to prevent the spread of the disease during the holiday.
“I admire the allowance for our workers and the permission for them to get holidays because they have worked a lot – including on holidays – due to the pandemic,” Saly said.
He urged workers to thoroughly follow health measures in order to avoid contracting the disease and passing it on to their families during the holiday. He suggested that one way to prevent transmission of the virus would be to avoid taking crowded taxis when travelling home.