Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry to allow for more foreign workers

Ministry to allow for more foreign workers

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Chinese workers work at the construction site in Phnom Penh's Chamkarmon district. Hean Rangsey

Ministry to allow for more foreign workers

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training will now allow foreign workers to make up more than 10 per cent of certain enterprises’ staffs if they cannot find local workers to fill positions.

The announcement was signed by labour minister Ith Sam Heng in mid-August and said enterprise owners who fall under the scope of Article 1 of the labour law can file a request to employ an increased amount of foreign workers.

The announcement further said the measure can be implemented if the enterprise cannot find enough Cambodian workers to fill their staff.

“To employ foreign workers, enterprise owners or managers must make letters asking for permission with written contracts of employment of each foreigner attached. Any enterprise owners or managers or any persons who infringe on regulations of the announcement are to be prosecuted according to the labour law,” it said.

Ministry spokesperson Heng Sour told The Post on Sunday that the decision aims to meet the needs of full-time production chains which operate 24 hours per day.

Workforces in the night entertainment, agriculture and construction sectors were still lacking, Sour said.

“If enterprises cannot find or it is difficult to find Cambodian workers, they can recruit foreign workers. We need production chains 24 hours a day. If they have work but can’t find Cambodian workers, we need to be open to any workers,” he said.

According to a ministry Prakas issued in 2014 on the employment of foreign workers in the labour sector, enterprise owners or managers must recruit Cambodian workers as a priority.

The Prakas dictated that less than 10 per cent of workers in a labour job could be foreign.

The Center for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights (Central) executive director Moeun Tola said he was surprised at the ministry’s decision.

He said the ministry should not have made this decision because currently, Cambodian citizens returning from abroad are facing unemployment.

“The ministry’s report said citizens returning from Thailand are not less than 130,000. So, do these people have jobs? Their main priorities are debts. I think that allowing more than 10 per cent of foreign workers to work seems to open an opportunity to compete between foreign and Cambodian workers,” he said.

Tola observed that even though Cambodia has yet to have a law allowing enterprises to employ more than 10 per cent of foreign workers, some enterprises, especially in the agriculture sector, had already employed a huge workforce of foreign workers.

Tola said he is concerned that making this legal could cause Cambodia to become a transit point for human trafficking.

Watch video:


  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from