Every organization with more than eight workers must have an approved human-resources manual (aka internal regulations). Foreign businesses and international NGOs often already have such documents, drafted by headquarters and used throughout the world. They’re a good starting point, but the manual for Cambodia must be adapted to the local laws and regulations. No surprise here – the laws of Cambodia aren’t same as in your home country.

From a legal perspective, such manuals constitute part of the employment agreement. It’s therefore imperative that the manual and the written contract signed by the employee be in accordance.

The manual needs to cover, amongst other topics:
– Process of hiring
– Wage and benefit calculation methods
– Any perquisites and benefits available to employees
– Schedule of working hours, including allotted breaks
– Holidays, sick leave, vacations
– Notice periods for termination
– Health and safety measures

The law requires employers to have their HR manuals approved by the Labor Inspector, and implemented within 90 days of opening to business. You’re also supposed to post them in a public area. As these manuals can run to dozens, if not hundreds, of pages, it’s impractical to turn it into a poster and “post” on a wall. I’d recommend you give each employee a copy when they join the organization (you can send it as PDF to save cost), and keep a few printed copies in a prominent place in the office.

Above all, the manual needs to be written with the laws of Cambodia in mind. We’re working on a practical guide to the labor law, which will collect all the various rules in one place and simplify the legalese into plain language. Stay tuned for its release.

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