Labor Law of Cambodia, Chapter XII
SETTLEMENT OF LABOUR DISPUTES
Preliminary conciliation of individual disputes
An individual dispute is one that arises between the employer and one or more workers or apprentices individually, and relates to the interpretation or enforcement of the terms of a labor contract or apprenticeship contract, or the provisions of a collective agreement as well as regulations or laws in effect.
Prior to any judicial action, an individual dispute can be referred for a preliminary conciliation, at the initiative of one of the parties, to the Labor Inspector of his province or municipality.
On receipt of the complaint, the Labor Inspector shall inquire of both parties to elicit the subject of the dispute and then shall attempt to conciliate the parties on the basis of relevant laws, regulations, or collective agreements, or the individual labor contract.
To this effect, the Labor Inspector shall set a hearing that is to take place within three weeks at the latest upon receipt of the complaint.
The parties can be assisted or represented at the hearing.
The results of the conciliation shall be contained in an official report written by the Labor Inspector, stating whether there was agreement or non-conciliation. The report shall be signed by the Labor Inspector and by the parties, who receive a certified copy.
An agreement made before the Labor Inspector is enforceable by law.
In case of non-conciliation, the interested party can file a complaint in a court of competent jurisdiction within two months, otherwise the litigation will be lapsed.
Collective labor dispute
A collective labor dispute is any dispute that arises between one or more employers and a certain number of their staff over working conditions, the exercise of the recognized rights of professional organizations, the recognition of professional organizations within the enterprise, and issues regarding relations between employers and workers, and this dispute could jeopardize the effective operation of the enterprise or social peacefulness.
If there is no planned settlement procedure in a collective agreement, the parties shall communicate the collective labor dispute to the Labor Inspector of their province or municipality. However, the Labor Inspector can take legal conciliation proceedings upon learning of the collective labor dispute even though he has not been officially notified.
The Minister in Charge of Labor shall designate a conciliator within forty-eight hours from the moment he is apprised or himself learns of the dispute.
Conciliation shall be carried out within fifteen days from the designation by the Minister in Charge of Labor. It can be renewed only by joint request of the parties to the dispute.
During the period of conciliation, the parties to the dispute must abstain from taking any measure of conflict. They must attend all meetings to which the conciliator calls them. Unjustified absence from any such meeting is punishable by a fine set in the rules of Chapter XVI.
A conciliatory agreement, signed by the parties and [visaed] by the conciliator, has the same force and effect of a collective agreement between the parties and the persons they represent. However, when the party representing workers is not a trade union, the agreement is neither binding on such union nor on the workers it represents.
In the absence of an agreement, the conciliator shall record and indicate the key points where the conciliation failed and shall prepare a report on the dispute. The conciliator shall send such record and report to the Minister in Charge of Labor within forty-eight hours at the latest after the conclusion of conciliation.
If conciliation fails, the labor dispute shall be referred to settle:
a) by any arbitration procedure set out in the collective agreement, if there is such a procedure; or
b) by any other procedure agreed on by all the parties to the dispute; or
c) by the arbitration procedure provided for in this Section.
In a case covered by paragraph c) of Article 309 above, the Minister in Charge of Labor shall refer the case to the Council of Arbitration within three days following the receipt of the report from the conciliator as specified in Article 308 above.
The Council of Arbitration must inevitably meet within three days following the receipt of the case.
Members of the Council of Arbitration shall be chosen from among magistrates, members of the Labor Advisory Committee, and generally from among prominent figures known for their moral qualities and their competence in economic and social matters. These persons shall be included on a list prepared each year by a Prakas (ministerial order) of the Ministry in Charge of Labor.
The Council of Arbitration has no duty to examine issues other than those specified in the non-conciliation report or matters, which arise from events subsequent to the report, are the direct consequence of the current dispute.
The Council of Arbitration legally decides on disputes concerning the interpretation and enforcement of laws or regulations or of a collective agreement. The Council's decisions are in equity for all other disputes.
The Council of Arbitration has the considerable power to investigate the economic situation of the enterprises and the social situation of the workers involved in the dispute.
The Council has the power to make all inquiries into the enterprises or the professional organizations, as well as the power to require the parties to present any document or economic, accounting, statistical, financial, or administrative information that would be useful in accomplishing its mission. The Council may also solicit the assistance of experts.
Members of the Council of Arbitration must keep the professional confidentiality regarding the information and documents provided to them for examination, and of any facts that come to their attention while carrying out their mission.
All sessions of the Council of Arbitration shall be held behind closed doors.
Within fifteen days starting from the date of its receipt of the case, the Council of Arbitration shall communicate its decision to the Minister in Charge of Labor. The Minister shall immediately manage to notify the parties. The latter have the right to appeal this arbitral decision by informing the Minister by registered mail or by any other reliable method within eight calendar days from the date of receiving the notification.
The final arbitral decision which was not appealed by either party shall be implemented immediately.
The arbitral decision which was already implemented shall be filed and registered the same way that a collective agreement is.
The reports on conciliation agreements and arbitral decisions, which have not been appealed, shall be posted in the workplace of the enterprise involved in the dispute and in the office of the relevant provincial and municipal Labor Inspector's Office.
The procedure for conciliation and arbitration shall be carried out free of charge.
The Ministry in Charge of Labor shall issue a Prakas (ministerial order) to determine the mode of enforcement of the present section.