Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New benefits for workers

New benefits for workers

Workers pour concrete at a construction site in the capital. Free health care will be provided to informal workers, like many in the construction sector, under a new sub-decree by the Health Ministry.
Workers pour concrete at a construction site in the capital. Free health care will be provided to informal workers, like many in the construction sector, under a new sub-decree by the Health Ministry. Pha Lina

New benefits for workers

Maids, labourers and other so-called “informal workers” are set to receive free health care and maternity benefits next year – as long as they can get their employer to register them with the government.

A prakas released last month by the Ministry of Labour asks employers to register the names of their informal employees with the National Social Security Fund in exchange for benefits. In return, informal workers will receive free health care at public hospitals and pregnant workers will receive a $100 maternity bonus for every baby they have.

The prakas defines “informal workers” as those who work for an employer in a small, unregistered enterprise. Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour acknowledged that the regulation rules out the many informal workers who are self-employed, such as street vendors or tuk-tuk drivers. “We only appeal for those who have employers,” Sour said.

He said the effort was part of the ministry’s efforts to formalise the sector, which has struggled to gain labour protections. “We want to expand more social assistance to those people,” said Sour, who added that registration is free.

Yim So Thy, president of the Association of Domestic Workers, said she appreciated the prakas, but appealed to officials to include self-employed workers. “To show that the government really cares about informal workers, they need to provide the same service to street vendors or moto drivers and self-employed workers.”

The prakas will take effect on January 1.

Additional reporting by Daphne Chen


  • Thailand offers Covid-19 funding

    The Royal Embassy of Thailand contributed two million baht ($62,765) to Cambodia’s fight against Covid-19 on Wednesday, as the countries celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations. The donation was presented by Thailand’s Ambassador to Cambodia Panyarak Poolthup to Prime Minister Hun Sen at a meeting

  • Crowded prisons will set free 10,000 inmates

    Close to 10,000 prisoners will be freed as part of the country’s prison overcrowding campaign, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng announced on Wednesday. The bulk of the inmates have mostly served their sentences and will continue to be monitored by local authorities after their release

  • Sanctuary head sued for not stopping forest occupations

    Four Bunong and an Adhoc official filed a joint lawsuit against Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary head Prum Vibol Ratanak at the Mondulkiri Provincial Court for failing to stop illegal land occupation and the buying and selling of forest land. Vibol Ratanak denies the allegations against

  • US and Cambodia talk cybersecurity ongoing assistance

    US Ambassador Patrick Murphy met with Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Wednesday to discuss bilateral collaboration including on issues of civil society organisations and democracy in Cambodia. But cybercrime seemed to be the prevailing topic at the meeting. Murphy posted on Twitter: “Productive meeting

  • UN: Don’t let patent rows hamper virus vaccine

    The UN patent agency has hailed the push to create a coronavirus vaccine and make it globally available but warned against allowing copyright rows to overshadow and delay the process. “What we need in the first place here is innovation,” said Francis Gurry, the head

  • ‘Be vigilant on human trafficking’

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Wednesday urged provincial authorities along the border to remain vigilant against the transportation of Cambodian migrant workers into Thailand. Speaking during an annual meeting of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT), he said despite the closure of the