14 December 2020

Are you wondering what the public holidays for 2021 will be? The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (“MLVT”) recently released its annual Prakas on public holidays for the coming year. Through this year’s Prakas (No. 397/20) the MLVT announced that there will be 21 public holidays in total for the year 2021.

This means that 2021 will see one less public holiday compared to 2020, in that there will be only 3 days off for the Khmer New Year (as opposed to 4 days in 2020).

This reduction is consistent with the Government’s stated intention to decrease the number of public holidays in an effort to increase the competitiveness of the country’s economy in the ASEAN region. Since a peak of 28 public holidays in 2019 (see Prakas 493/17 and Prakas 478/18)  which saw the addition of May 20 for Remembrance Day), 2020 saw a significant reduction to 22 days, and 2021 continues the downward trend.

This intention was stated in the Prime Minister’s speech given at the Government Private Sector Forum meeting in June 2019 (see our client alert: Proposed Labour Reforms in Cambodia).

Another notable aspect of Prakas 397/20 is that there is no provision that a holiday falling on a Sunday needs to be replaced on the following work day, which is a deviation from the past practice where this rule was typically reaffirmed in Article 2 of the annual Prakas on public holidays. However, this deviation may simply be explained by the fact that none of the 2021 public holidays fall on a Sunday, rather than signaling the Government’s intention to do away with this rule entirely.

If you have any questions or require any assistance on employment issues in Cambodia, feel free to contact Matthew Rendall, Phirum Ol, or Shan Berg Liew at SokSiphana&associates.

This alert is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.