Some 250,000 workers already protected under the new fund
Photo by: HENG CHIVOAN
Acleda Bank director Peter Kooi (right) and and vice chairman John Brinsden attend the launch of the National Social Security Fund at the InterContinental Hotel in Phnom Penh on Thursday.
MORE than 300 companies are contributing to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), which protects workers against occupational risks and workplace accidents, Ouk Samvuthyea, head of the fund, said Thursday.
The fund was established by subdecree in 2007 and all companies are required to participate.
“The NSSF will be responsible for paying benefits to cover the cost of accidents in the workplace and accidents involving workers during their commute to or from the workplace, as well as illness arising from the nature of their occupation,” he said.
Business owners from Phnom Penh, as well as Kandal and Kampong Speu provinces, have already contributed to the fund on behalf of about 250,000 workers, most of them from the garment sector, Ouk Samvuthyea said, adding that the fund will be administered by Acleda Bank Plc.
“If employees have accidents, the NSSF will pay for medical treatment until the worker has recovered and daily wages during the treatment. In cases where workers sustain permanent injuries that prevent them from returning to work, they will receive premium payments for life. In the event of death, the family of the worker will receive a subsidy from the NSSF,” he said.
The fund requires employers to contribute 0.8 percent of each employee’s salary to the NSSF, Ouk Samvuthyea said, adding that protection against occupational risk – the first phase of coverage by the fund – is the responsibility of employers, not staff.
“If the NSSF ever experiences a deficit ... the government will take responsibility, but we hope this will never be a concern,” he said. Ouk Samvuthyea said NSSF contributions will be deposited with Acleda, which will serve as the custodian of the fund, calling the bank a “logical partner” for the fund.
He said the second phase of the fund, implemented in 2010, will focus on health care for employees. A third phase, pensions for workers, will follow in 2012.
Acleda President In Channy said the fund marked a major step forward in governmental reform. “The launch of the NSSF will provide a safety net for [those] who fall victim to workplace accidents.”