The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training’s Labour Inspection Department has issued a letter reminding factory owners and managers in the garment, footwear and travel goods sectors about the requirements they must meet in order to use the ministry’s online self-declaration inspection system, which sets at least 30 conditions that must be fulfilled to qualify.

The 30 conditions cover a range of areas including the general work environment each factory must maintain, workers’ health conditions, regulations related to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and rules regarding trade unions.

The labour ministry’s director of inspections Khem Bunchhean said in the letter that in cases where any of the priority conditions are not fulfilled the factory will have a fine imposed upon it immediately in accordance with the law.

Reached by The Post on May 30, Khem Bunchhean said he could not give further details regarding the letter at this time due to his busy schedule.

According to the notice dated May 27 from labour minister Ith Samheng, the owners and managers of factories and manufacturing enterprises covered under the provisions of the labour law have to complete the inspection process through the ministry’s online self-declaration system twice a year and they must do so no later than June 30 and December 31.

Kaing Monika, deputy secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), said these letters are issued regularly to remind factory owners of the requirements they must meet in order to operate in the Kingdom and that the contents accurately reflect what is already established by law or by agreement with the factories.

He said that in the past, the labour ministry sent inspectors to each factory in-person to complete these inspections, but it had modernised its procedures through the online self-declaration system that eased the amount of work for the factory as well as for its officials.

“It is a procedure to facilitate the process. These aren’t new conditions or requirements. All of the conditions are already set in the labour law,” he said.

Cambodian Labour Confederation president Ath Thon welcomed the move, noting that some factories were not in full compliance with the labour law.

“This letter is a good reminder to the owners of the factories to follow the law. But we don’t know if the ministry will go down and close non-compliant factories or impose fines on them in reality, because this is just a letter and if all they ever do is write letters to non-compliant factory owners, then it’s useless,” he said.