Representatives from factories and other enterprises said they are ready to pay seniority indemnity payments, including back pay, to their workers this month after the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training began a training course on the necessary procedures.
On Tuesday, more than 400 representatives of companies who are obliged to include the seniority payments in this month’s salaries attended the first day of a three-day training course at the ministry’s meeting hall.
During the course, there was an active debate about the issues faced and many questions were raised which specialised officials explained in detail.
The ministry’s undersecretary of state, In Khemara, said the course had already enabled the representatives to acquire vital knowledge about how to proceed.
Khemara said in addition to the training course, the ministry had also issued a prakas to avoid any confusion and he expected the process to proceed smoothly.
The new seniority indemnity payments are to be paid along with employees’ salaries every June and December.
On Monday, the ministry issued a further directive on new payments. Monthly wages and seniority indemnity payments are to be separated, in order to make it easier for workers to fulfil their tax obligations – because seniority indemnity payments are not subject to tax.
“From this year onwards, when wages are paid for June and December, employees [in the textile, garment and footwear sectors] will receive their fixed wage plus the new seniority indemnity payments – amounting to seven and a half days of their yearly salary – and any seniority back pay that is due."
“For all seniority indemnity payments, employers and employees must keep the documentation, signed or thumb-printed by both parties, as proof,” the directive said.
‘Obscure and unclear’
After listening to Tuesday’s presentations, Sem Sokhuntheara, an administrator at the Good People garment factory in Phnom Penh, told The Post that seniority indemnity payments were a positive step to safeguard workers’ benefits, but said he still has to learn more clearly about some new procedures.
“We came to learn about the payments because they were obscure and unclear. So we wanted to learn more about the process. Having joined the course and heard the ministry’s explanations, we are better able to understand the workers’ payments."
“For my factory and other factories, seniority indemnity payments are not a problem. The problem is the way of calculating how much to pay and making sure they are paid on time. But we will try to pay the money on time along with their wages early next month. Hopefully, the ministry and the workers understand if there’s a slight delay,” Sokhuntheara said.
Vong Thida, the human resources manager of a private school in Phnom Penh, told The Post on Tuesday that her school had made preparations to pay seniority indemnity payments.
“I didn’t understand the requirements, so I have come to attend the training course. But thanks to the ministry’s detailed explanations, we are a lot clearer on when and how we must make payments for our workers."
“I think it is good for employees under the Labour Law, especially those under long-term contracts, and it’s more beneficial than what they’ve had in the past,”Thida said.