Last updated on: July 6th, 2021
The Labour law in Brunei is regulated mainly by the Employment Order of 2009. The Order governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays, rest periods, wages, overtime, leave and termination of employment, etc. The other regulations that govern labor relationships are The Worker’s Compensation Act, 1957 and the Workplace Safety and Health Order of 2009.
Hours & Pay Regulations
An employee who has worked with an employer for a period of not less than 3 months shall be entitled to –
- Paid annual leave of 7 days in respect of the first 12 months of continuous service with the same employer; and
- An additional one day’s annual leave for every subsequent 12 months of continuous service with the same employer, subject to a maximum of 14 days of such leave, which shall be in addition to the rest days, public holidays, and sick leave to which the employee is entitled to.
An employee who has been employed with an employer for a period of not less than 3 months but has not completed 12 months of continuous service in any year shall be entitled to annual leave in proportion to the number of completed months of service in that year.
In calculating the proportionate annual leave, any fraction of a day that is less than half of a day shall be not counted and where the fraction of the day is half or more it shall be considered as 1 day. In cases where an employee has taken leave without pay with the consent of the employer, the period of leave taken shall not be considered for the purpose of calculating continuous service with the employer.
If an employee is absent from work without the approval of the employer or without reasonable excuse for more than 20% of the number of working days in the month or year in which the entitlement to such annual leave accrues, in such cases, will not be entitled to annual leave.
Timing of Vacation – An employee shall after the end of every 12 months of continuous service take an annual vacation. In case, an employee does not take leave by the end of such period, will not be entitled to the annual vacation not taken.
Pay – The employer shall pay the employee gross rate of pay for every day of such annual leave.
Termination of employment – An employee whose employment has been terminated for reasons other than misconduct on the part of the employee, and such an employee has not taken his/her annual vacation before termination, in such cases, the employer shall pay the employee gross rate of pay in respect of every day of that leave. Employment Order of 2009, § 71.
An employee who has been employed with an employer for a period of not less than 6 months is entitled to sick leave not exceeding in the aggregate –
- 14 days in each year if no hospitalization is necessary; or
- 60 days in each year if hospitalization is necessary
The service period of employees to be entitled to sick leave has been revised and made as at least 1 month only. This change is temporary and is enforced on the 9th of March 2020 until a later date to be announced, depending on the COVID-19 situation.
In case an employee is hospitalized for less than 46 days in any one year, he shall not be provided with more than 14 days of leave in aggregate along with the number of days on which he was hospitalized.
Note – An employee who has been certified by the medical practitioner to be sick enough to get hospitalized but such employee is not hospitalized, in such cases, it shall be considered that such an employee is hospitalized for the purposes of sick leave.
An employee who is away from work on sick leave without certification by a medical practitioner or certified by a medical practitioner but without informing the employer of such sick leave within 48 hours of its commencement, shall be regarded as absent from work without the permission of the employer.
An employer shall pay an employee for every day of sick leave –
- In case no hospitalization is necessary, at the gross rate of pay excluding any allowance payable in respect of shift work; and
- In case hospitalization is required – at the gross rate of pay.
When sick leave not payable – An employee is not entitled to paid sick leave –
- On a rest day or on a public holiday;
- On any paid annual leave;
- On a day when an employee is not required to work under a contract of employment;
An employee shall also not be entitled to paid sick leave for the period during which such employee is receiving compensation for temporary incapacity from injury under Workmen’s Compensation Legislation. Employment Order of 2009, § 72.
A female employee who is a non-citizen and has completed 180 days of employment with an employer is entitled to maternity leave for a period of 9 weeks. The employee can take 4 weeks of leave immediately before the delivery and 5 weeks of leave after the delivery of the child.
Pay – The employer shall make payment for a period of 8 weeks. The employer can further apply for reimbursement from the government authority.
If a public holiday falls during the maternity leave, payment shall be made for the same to the employee.
Whereas a female employee who is a citizen, is lawfully married, and has completed 180 days of employment with an employer is entitled to maternity leave for a period of 15 weeks. The employee can take 2 weeks of leave immediately before the delivery and 13 weeks of leave after the delivery of the child.
Pay -The employer is liable to pay for 8 weeks and the government authority pays for the next 5 weeks of leave. The employer shall make advance payment for the 5 weeks of leave and then shall apply for reimbursement from the government authority. Employment Order of 2009, § 90