Working Parents


  1. What says the law about maternity leave

In Cambodian labour law, employers must give employees who give birth 90 days (3 months) of maternity leave.

An employer may not terminate an employee:

  • because she is pregnant;
  • while she is on maternity leave or;
  • immediately before taking maternity leave.

Employer must pay employees who have at least one year of seniority half of their wages and benefit during maternity leave. Employers should calculate the payment on the basic of employee’s average pay during 12 months prior de departing on maternity leave, not on the minimum wage or basic wage.

During the first 2 months after returning from maternity leave employees may only be required to perform light work.

  1. II.   What says the ILO about maternity leave

With due regard to the protection of the heath of the mother and that of the children, Maternity leave shall include a period of six weeks compulsory leave after childbirth, unless otherwise agreed at the national level by government and representative organization of employers and workers. [ILO Convention No 183, Articale4 (4)]

Due to three Conventions of ILO on maternity protection (No. 3 of 1919, No.103 of 1952 and No. 183 of 2000) provide for a compulsory leave period of six weeks after the birth of the child, during which the mother must not be allowed to work. This is intended to protect the woman from being pressured to return to work, which could be detrimental to her health and that of her child. This principle constitutes a fundamental component of the protection afforded by the ILO standards. With the adoption of Convention No.183, some flexibility was introduced concerning the provision of compulsory leave. This instrument opens up the possibility for agreements to be made at the national level on the arrangement of compulsory leave.

The Extension of leave (at the maternity leave)

National legislation often allows or requires changes in the duration of maternity leave if some unusual or unexpected event takes place during pregnancy or confinement. For example, many countries extend the leave period if the birth occurs later than expected, in case of multiple births, or in the event of the mother’s or child’s illness.

The prenatal portion of maternity leave shall be extended by any period elapsing between the presumed date of childbirth and the actual date of childbirth, without reduction in any compulsory portion of postnatal leave. [Convention No. 183, Article 4(5)]


The Length of maternity leave global

Less than 12 weeks

Tunisia (30 days); Lebanon, Qatar (40 days); Papua New Guinea (6 weeks*); Bahrein, United Arab Emirates (45 days); Egypt, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (50 days); Nepal (52 days); Bahamas, Singapore, Sudan, Switzerland, Uganda (8 weeks); Bolivia, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Iraq, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mozambique, Philippines, Yemen (60 days or two months); Honduras, Jordan, Kuwait, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia (70 days or ten weeks); Syrian Arab Republic (75 days).

12 weeks

Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Burundi, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Israel, Jamaica, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Zambia.

13 weeks

Afghanistan, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Cambodia, Chad, China, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guyana, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Peru, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Zimbabwe.

14 weeks

Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Germany, Guinea, Ireland, Japan, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, New Zealand, Panama, Portugal, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, Sweden, Togo, United Kingdom.

15 weeks

Mongolia (101 days); Belgium, Congo, Finland, Slovenia.

16 weeks

Austria, Cyprus, Costa Rica, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain.

17 weeks

or moreBrazil, Bulgaria, Canada (17 weeks); Viet Nam (4-7 months); Azerbaijan, Belarus, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, Estonia, Ukraine, Venezuela (18 weeks); Russian Federation (20 weeks); Italy (5 months); Hungary (24 weeks); Croatia (6 months and 4 weeks); Czech Republic (28 weeks); Norway (38-48 weeks); Australia (52 weeks).



  1. III.    Collective agreements and maternity leave – examples

Collective agreement is an agreement between employers and representative unions about wages and working conditions the Cambodian law. The purpose of the collective agreement is to determine the working and employment conditions of workers and to regulate relations between employers and workers. The collective agreement can also extend its legally recognized roles to trade union organizations and improve the guarantees protecting workers against social risks. Collective agreements must be writ­ten in Khmer and specify their scope of application.

It could also be a verbal agreement between the factory and the workers, or a practice that the factory follows consistently—factories that go beyond the requirements of the law sometimes prefer to keep such practices informal and flexible.


For examples, one factory had a policy of providing all workers with US$25 for their fourth month of maternity leave. Although workers who had worked for less than one year did not receive pay for the first three months of their maternity leave, they received the extra US$25 for the fourth month. Another factory had a collective bargaining agreement with the main union whereby workers who had worked for six months received full maternity benefits (50 per cent of the average wage, a US$6 living allowance and annual seniority wages). Workers who have been working for less than six months could receive 70 per cent of the wages for one month as well as a US$6 per month living allowance.


  1. IV.    What says the law about paternity leave (law)

There is no any specific regulation or law say about paternity leave in Cambodia. Factories commonly allow men to take three to seven days of special leave to take care of their wives upon giving birth. This time is deducted from their annual leave. Factories are not legally obliged to give men special leave with pay, however. The labour law states:


“… employees may ask for up to seven days special leave for personal reasons that affect their immediate family. If the worker has not yet taken his annual leave, the employer can deduct the special leave from the worker’s annual leave. If the worker has taken all his annual leave, the employer cannot deduct the special leave from the worker’s annual leave for the next year”.


In one factory, men could apply to take up to seven days of special leave without any wage or annual leave deduction, according to union leaders and workers. However, workers at the same factory complained that it was difficult to take the full seven days of leave; the line supervisor usually would allow only three days of special leave. In another factory, men could take leave for one week to take care of their wives. Their wages were deducted, but their attendance bonus and their annual leave were not. At this factory, the union leaders suggested that it would be better if men could use their annual leave to take care of their wives without losing their wages.


  1. What says the ILO about paternity leave

Paternity leave provides an important opportunity for fathers to nurture their infants and to support new mothers with the many physical and emotional demands related to childbirth and caring for newborns. Paternity leave provisions are becoming more common and reflect evolving views of fatherhood. These shifts in relationships and perceptions of parenting roles may herald more gender-balanced approaches to care-giving and unpaid work.

The duration and compensation of paternity leave varies considerably. For example, fathers are entitled to one day of paternity leave in Tunisia and Saudi Arabia; three days in Algeria and Uruguay, and three months in Iceland and Slovenia. In a number of countries, there is no specific paternity leave, but there is a more general short-term emergency leave or family leave which can be used by new fathers. This is the case for example, in Cambodia where fathers can take up to 10 days of special leave for family events or in the Bahamas where fathers can take up to 1 week of family-related leave. Paternity leave is often paid, either by the employer, the social security system, or a combination of both. In other cases, national legislation does not provide for paid paternity leave.

One encouraging example of paternity leave provisions and take-up comes from France, which in 2002 introduced paternity leave of 14 days, the first three fully paid by the employer and the remaining eleven paid by Social Security, up to 80 per cent of gross salary. The provision has shown remarkable success: almost two-thirds of eligible fathers had made use of this leave as of 2004. That includes wage-earners, the self-employed and farmers.

Not all fathers take advantage of paternity leave even when it is available. Families may be concerned about sacrificing income when paternity leave is unpaid or poorly paid. Even when paid, some men may decline their leave entitlements if they fear they will not be seen as committed to their work. Prevailing stereotypes of masculinity may also clash with caretaking roles and influence their decisions as well. Campaigns to confront these stereotypes and efforts to provide compensation during leave may help address low take up where it exists.

  1. VI.    Collective agreements paternity leave examples

Aside from maternity leave, collective agreements make no mention about paternity leave.

  1. VII.   Arrangements for child care (formal/informal/through your company/employer)

What is formal child care arrangement?

Child care is the care of a child during the day by a person other than the child's legal guardians, typically performed by someone outside the child's immediate family. Child care is typically an ongoing service during specific periods, such as the parents' time at work (working parents).

Child care is provided in nurseries or crèches or by a nanny or family child care provider caring for children in their own homes. It takes on a formal structure, with education, child development, discipline and even preschool education falling into the fold of services.

What is informal child care arrangement?

Informal care is generally defined as care arranged by the child's parent either in the child's home or elsewhere, provided by relatives, friends, neighbours, babysitters or nannies and it is generally unregulated. Some informal care is unpaid, while other informal carers receive payment or reimbursement in kind.


Parents tend to use informal childcare in four different ways. First, some parents use informal care as the main type of childcare for babies and young children because it is seen as being the type of childcare that most closely resembles parental care. Second, many parents use informal childcare to look after older children after-school and during school holidays. A third way that parents use informal childcare is as an emergency or back up when regular childcare arrangements break down or are insufficient. Fourth, parents may use it in combination with formal care – to supplement the 15 hours free early education provision, for example. Lone parents in work and low income families in work rely more on informal childcare than do higher income groups and couple families. Data suggests that lone parents in work use more informal childcare than formal childcare, a trend not observed in couple families or workless lone-parent families who all use more formal childcare. Parents who work atypical hours are another group who rely on informal childcare provision to a greater extent than those working normal nine to five hours.


Child care arrangement through your company

Any organization that employs more than 100 women must provide a nursing room and a daycare center for all children over 18 months of age. If an organization is unable to establish a daycare center on site, then it must pay for the cost of private daycare, according to the law.


  1. VIII.   Children on boarding school

A boarding school is a school where some or all people study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators.

Independent Organized Self-Reliance

Studying at a boarding school enables one to interact with people from diverse multicultural and multinational backgrounds, exposing one to different lifestyles and making one more adaptable to various situations. Therefore, one is well- equipped to deal with daily challenges, open to trying out new tasks that foster better learning,

Great core values, good all round education, and friends for life

Boarding school is what you make of it and what your parents do to support you. If you are simply outsourced, then the outcome would be no better if they kept you at home. If you are encouraged, supported and engaged in a shared experience it is great. In any case boarders will always outperform day boys because of the extra time at school and with their peers.

Encourages independence and confidence

Absolutely fantastic experience for children, as long as regular contact with parents and quality family time in holidays. It teaches children so much about being independent, confident and resilient. It teaches exemplary social skills and self esteem. Yes, there is bullying (as there is in all schools) but boarding schools generally tackle this issue much better as it can't be passed off to parents to handle. It was the best thing that ever happened to them.

  1. IX.    Children sick? How to deal with your job?

A child’s surprise illness can push a working parent to the point of panic. To help you pull through your kid’s next sick day without neglecting work or parenting responsibilities, we’ve gathered advice from career experts and veteran parents:

Know your rights

Depending on where you live, provincial law may provide you with a specific number of unpaid days to care for your child through a non-life-threatening illness. “What it’s really doing is protecting your job and not making parents have an untenable choice,” says Jody Heymann, founding director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University in Montreal. “Unpaid leave is very low-cost to employers.” Heymann urges parents to discuss their child care needs with elected provincial representatives and encourages employers who offer paid sick days to allow parents to use them for themselves or their kids.

Get your boss’s OK

Knowing your employer’s policies before you get a midday pickup call from school is a must. If you’re already in a job and unsure of where your boss and company policy stand on sick days, schedule a chat before your child gets sick. You may be pleasantly surprised. For Sheryl Steinberg, a mom of two from Toronto and director of corporate affairs for a wireless company, staying home with a sick child has never made waves at work. A lot of her peers have kids and have been in the same boat. “No one abuses the practice, so it’s not a big deal; we just tote our smartphones and laptops, and work from home,” she says.

Get child care that works

Not all jobs are family-friendly. If you’re a teacher, doctor or pilot, flex hours are out. And if you’re a lawyer, try telling a judge you missed court because your kid had the flu.

Whether you choose a formal child-care center, family day care, or in-home care, there are some basic things you should know and insist upon. To help you make this all-important decision, we've talked to mothers and other experts who have been in the child-care trenches. Here are eight ways to size up a child-care option:

1. Look down. When you're visiting a potential site, pay attention to how the staff interacts with the children. Ideally, a caregiver should be on the floor playing with the kids or holding one on her lap. In their early years, babies need close, loving, interactive relationships with adults in order to thrive. That's why it's especially important that babies' first caregivers be warm and responsive, and that even in group care, infants and older babies get a healthy dose of one-on-one time. (Though individual states set their own staffing ratios for child-care facilities, the American Academy of Pediatrics specifically recommends a ratio of one adult for every three babies up to 24 months of age.)

2. Ask for a commitment. Babies need consistent, predictable care. It helps them to form a secure attachment to their caregivers, according to Debra K. Shatoff, a family therapist in private practice in St. Louis. If you're looking at an in-home caregiver, request that the person you're considering make a one-year commitment to the job. If you're considering a center, find out how long the current caregivers have been working there and how much turnover the center usually experiences.

3. Do a policy check. Find out whether you share parenting philosophies on topics such as discipline (Do the caregivers use time-outs, scoldings?); television (Is the TV on all day or used sparingly, if at all?); feeding (What snacks or drinks are provided for older babies?); sleeping (When are naps offered? How are fussy babies put to sleep?); and so forth. Inquire about the sick-child policy (What symptoms prevent a child from attending?). Also ask whether there's a backup plan should the family day-care provider or in-home caregiver get sick and be unable to work. The more questions you ask early on, the less likely you are to be unpleasantly surprised later.

4. Drop by and spy. While word-of-mouth referrals from other parents or trusted resources are important, you need to look at a place for yourself to assess whether it meets your needs. Of course, any child-care environment should be kept clean, childproofed, and well stocked with sturdy books and toys that are age-appropriate. Other details to consider: When older children share the space, toys with small parts (choking hazards) should be kept away from younger babies. Ideally, infants and babies should have their own area where they won't get "loved" too much by older toddlers. A room or separate area dedicated solely to swings and bouncers may look appealing at first glance, but keep in mind that growing babies need plenty of floor time to develop and strengthen their muscles. If possible, try to visit the same centers at different times of the day to get a sense of how the staff interacts with the children and what the routine is. You may want to consider popping in unannounced a few times after you've enrolled your child, just to see how things are going. Sometimes your visits will confirm that the place is right for you, but sometimes they'll be a real eye-opener.

5. Keep talking. Until your baby can talk, you will be relying on what the caregiver tells you about your child's day. Make sure you can communicate comfortably with each other. When you first hand off your child in the morning, you should tell the caregiver how your little one slept the night before, if he is teething, and whether he ate breakfast. At the end of the day you'll want to know similar information, such as the number of diapers he went through, when he napped, and if he seemed happy overall. It's always preferable to speak to the caregiver in person. If that's not possible, ask if there's a convenient time to phone, perhaps at nap time.

6. Problem-solve pronto. It's inevitable that you'll experience conflicts with your caregiver, both large and small. Address problems right away rather than ignoring them until they grow out of proportion. Some issues can be resolved quickly; others may require more discussion. Whatever the conflict, treat the caregiver in a respectful manner, but don't be afraid to speak up, says Deborah Borchers, MD, a pediatrician in private practice in Cincinnati. When broaching a difficult subject, ask the caregiver's opinion, and hear her out. As the parent, you have the final word with an in-home caregiver, but you're more likely to elicit cooperation if the caregiver knows she has been heard. For example, instead of demanding an earlier nap time to make bedtime easier, ask the caregiver if she has ideas about how to adjust your baby's schedule so he won't grow so overtired in the evening.

7. Trust your gut. Every parent knows when something doesn't feel quite right. You may be turned off by a center everyone in town raves about or clash with a highly recommended sitter. If that happens, keep searching. Babies deserve, and thrive under, good, nurturing care. If something just doesn't feel right about your situation, investigate other options.

8. Be open to change. You're not married to a particular person or situation, and if things don't work out, you can always make a switch. Yes, you want consistency for your baby, but that doesn't mean you can't alter arrangements. Babies are resilient; as long as they're having a positive experience with their new caregiver, they'll be just fine, points out Dr. Shatoff.

No matter what your work hours, you are still your child's essential caregiver -- the most consistent source of love and support in her life. Under your care and guidance, along with the help of your well-chosen caregivers, your baby will flourish and grow into a happy, healthy child.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.


When your career isn’t flexible, your child care has to be. Balancing sick children and your job is a challenge period. We, working moms, are always trying to do what is right for our kids and our employers. But if you take your son to the doctor, you won’t finish that project on time another month in a row and you aren’t sure your boss will be so understanding this go round. Or, maybe you are hourly and you just can’t afford to take the time off work. It’s as though you are buying time until the inevitable… several days off in a row because your child is now too sick to go to daycare.

As working moms, we have to be conscious of the needs of both our children and our jobs. There is nothing worse than feeling as though you are torn between doing the best thing for your child and securing their future (and yours) by being the best employee you can. The truth is, we can’t do it all. Sometimes we have to choose who needs us more and try to see into the future when it comes to our children’s health. Will this stuffy nose turn into an ear infection? Is this diaper rash going to go away with over the counter medicines? Is my kid just teething or could he have a bug?


  1. X.      How to deal with family problems and career – tips

Personal issues including family problems, life changing situations, emotional difficulties, illness, and even one's sexual orientation, can impact your job and ultimately your ability to advance your career. Try as you might to keep your private life separate from your work life, inevitably one may begin to run into the other. Learn how to keep personal issues from negatively affecting your job and career.

Don’t share too much information with co-workers:

Prevention is the best medicine. Your co-workers and boss will only know as much about your personal life as you share with them. If you don't want those with whom you work to know about things going on outside work, then learn to keep a secret. There are several reasons for not sharing personal information with your co-workers. You may not want to burden your co-workers and should not trust your co-workers to keep your secret. There are people around, and we all know someone like this, who will think nothing of talking about you. Some people are very matter-of-fact about it and just assume there's nothing wrong with telling others whatever you told them. Others are malicious and intend to cause harm by spreading information. By the time you find out you've shared your story with the wrong person it's usually too late. There are other reasons for keeping personal information out of the workplace.

Don't Expose Your Belly

When you share personal information, especially information that shows your weaknesses, you may be "exposing your belly" to your co-workers. If your position at work requires you to exhibit strength and control, such as a managerial position, you may be showing just the opposite by sharing certain information. For example, a person being considered for a promotion would benefit from having an image of strength, excellent judgment and good interpersonal skills. How might your recent disclosure to your colleagues that you are divorcing your alcoholic husband, just obtained a restraining order in fear for your life and are worried about making your house payments, affect your chances for promotion? You can't sleep, fear you are depressed and need support from friends during this trying time. In this situation, a wise employee would make an appointment with an Employee Assistance Program counselor and use his or her friends and family for support, letting colleagues at work know, perhaps, that he or she is divorcing but keeping the details scant.”

Keep It Close to the Vest

As mentioned earlier, revealing too much about yourself may give people the wrong impression or rather the impression you don't want them to have. In general, you do want to preserve some level of privacy. When you have worked in a particular work place for a long time, people will tend to know more about your personal world, simply from longevity. As an example, they know when you took a week off work when your mother died. They know you left for the day when your son got sick at school. This level of knowledge about each other is fine, and, depending on the work place, almost unavoidable... I also think people need to leave their personal and family issues and problems at home. If a co-worker is going through a divorce, you can extend some sympathy (or joy!), without having to hear all the details. It's a two-way street, however, as co-workers need to leave each others' privacy intact by not prying as well.

Too much sharing has a negative impact on productivity, an emotional impact on the work environment, can be unhealthy for participants who really should seek nurture and friendship elsewhere. It's like office romance, however, we spend so much time at work these days, there has to be room for some interaction. If you don't want to hear it in the neighborhood pub, don't mention it around the water cooler. If it is a thing of pride (new car, new house, new baby, etc), go ahead and share the joy. If it is a thing of privacy (family problems, etc.) keep it to yourself at work. Find a professional therapist, or somebody you trust to keep a confidence (such as a Priest or Rabbi), to discuss such things.”

As with anything else, you are the only one who can decide what, and how much, information you want to share with your co-workers. The words of wisdom provided by my colleagues certainly give you something to think about. In the end, though, the decision is yours. And the consequences are yours to deal with. If opening up your personal life is what you feel comfortable doing, realize that there will be no line between the “work you” and the “real you.” That may be fine for some people, and as a matter of fact preferable for many. A lot of people would feel uncomfortable and unhappy exhibiting a different personal at work than they do at home. Do what you need to do, as long as it doesn't interfere with doing your job.