Cambodia’s labour ministry clarifies rules for factory re-openings

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has clarified that factories cannot force workers to be vaccinated in order for them to return to work.
By: | May 12, 2021

Minister Ith Sam Heng said this in a statement on the payment of wages and reopening requirements for factories located in Yellow Zones in Phnom Penh and Takmao city, Kandal province. 

The statement said any employee facing discrimination pertaining to their vaccination status can seek the ministry’s help via Telegram. In addition, the statement said 50% of wages due to employees for April as well as other benefits entitled to employees must be paid by May 14. 

The General Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has also published an advisory about the measures that must be in place for factories in Yellow Zones to re-open. 

Factories producing textiles, garments, footwear, travel goods and bags are subject to the conditions first discussed by the Labour Action Committee (LAC) at a meeting on May 6 and then released in an announcement by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training later that day. 

During the 30-day initiative to reopen factories in Yellow Zones, workers will be split into two groups – one group working the first two weeks of the month and the second group the latter two weeks. 

All workers will be allowed to work regardless of their vaccination status, but priority to work the first two weeks will be given to vaccinated workers, according to ministry guidelines. This will give unvaccinated workers time to receive the jab, though it is not mandatory for them to receive one to return to their workplaces. 

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GMAC secretary-general Ken Loo also clarified that workers will not be paid half of their salaries. But as they will only be working two weeks instead of four this period, their pay will amount to half their normal salaries, according to Khmer Times.