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Labour ministry launches Covid SOP for businesses

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The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training launched standard operating procedures (SOP) for the management of all factories and enterprises on a path towards the “new normal” in the context of Covid-19. Heng Chivoan

Labour ministry launches Covid SOP for businesses

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training launched standard operating procedures (SOP) for the management of all factories and enterprises on a path towards the “new normal” in the context of Covid-19.

The procedures were approved by Prime Minister Hun Sen – who also serves as chairman of the National Committee to Combat Covid-19 – on December 24.

The Ministry of Health said the procedures are in line with recent developments with the infectious disease as well as new government measures.

Speaking on January 10 at the roll-out event for the procedures, labour minister Ith Sam Heng said he strongly urged factory and enterprise owners, workers and others to effectively implement the new guidelines.

“Implementing these [procedures] will ensure the sustainability of the business production chain and maintain stability of employment and income, which are beneficial to both employers and workers and it they will prevent risks due to the spread of infectious diseases, especially Covid-19,” he said.

He said Covid-19 would continue to mutate into new variants like Omicron. Therefore, it was necessary to learn to live with Covid-19 and promote socio-economic recovery, job stability and balance factory production and business with public health in a “new normal” path.

Sam Heng said the ministry has developed this SOP in order to ensure the prevention and control of the spread of the coronavirus, ensuring high efficiency in the prevention of communicable diseases in accordance with the labour law and health measures.

The procedures cover matters such as operations and management and measurement of work processes in the “new normal” path, which describe what everyone working in factories and similar businesses have to do before starting their daily work, during and after work.

The procedures also cover how to manage when staff test positive for Covid-19, how to do risk assessment or inspections and the mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation.

Sam Heng said that before writing these new procedures, the ministry’s officials reviewed and took into account safety and health measures in the workplace as stated in the labour law and other relevant legal documents along with public health measures.

The procedures also excerpt passages from documents published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop a comprehensive joint guideline document to ensure the effective prevention of Covid-19.

Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union president Ath Thorn said the implementation of the current procedures are in line with the context of the new Omicron variant, which could help prevent risks to the garment sector in Cambodia.

“If the procedures are well implemented, it will reduce workplace challenges and enable the factories to operate smoothly. At the same time, there should be specific measures to ensure that the procedures are fully implemented in case of further developments with the new strain,” he said.

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