Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 29 reiterated his commitment to ensuring workplace safety and health in all factories, enterprises and in the informal economy, even as the Kingdom grapples with controlling the spread of Covid-19.
In a message released two days ahead of the 135th International Labour Day on May 1, Hun Sen expressed delight at the chance to celebrate with workers, employers and other compatriots this year’s edition of the holiday, under the theme “Peace, Health and Labour".
"Despite the difficult situation due to Covid-19, the government continues to strive to maintain existing jobs and create all kinds of new positions for the people, bringing the impact on employment under controllable levels,” he said.
For example, 103 factories and enterprises opened last year, providing over 60,000 additional jobs.
And the number of suspended contracts in factories and enterprises fell to 20,000 at 150 locations in end-2020 from a peak in June of over 150,000 at 433 locations, and remains in a gradual downtrend.
Hun Sen stressed that the government has introduced a slew of measures to keep crucial economic sectors afloat – including textiles, garments, footwear, bags, travel goods and tourism – amid the socio-economic fallout spurred by the Covid-19 crisis, and exacerbated by the February 20 community transmission.
He said the government would continue to provide $40 per month for each suspended worker employed in the textile, garment, footwear, travel goods and bags sectors at least until June.
At the same time, employers in these sectors have to pay an additional $30 for each suspended worker, amounting to $70 per month in benefit.
The government also extended its $40 payments to suspended employees in tourism-related businesses, including hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and travel agencies for an additional three months to June.
Hun Sen said the government extended the exemptions for all types of monthly taxes on these businesses for another three months to June to offset some of the economic damage being wrought by Covid-19.
But they must be registered with the General Department of Taxation to be eligible, he said.
Moreover, the government will extend a cash relief programme for poor and vulnerable households for another three months.
The government will continue to advise ministries, public institutions and private owners of commercial lease properties to refrain from terminating contracts with or evicting tenants that are unable to make timely rent payments.
The prime minister reiterated a call on workers and owners of factories and enterprises to voluntarily take part in the Covid-19 vaccination campaign and adhere to the “three protections and three don’ts” guidelines as directed by the ministries of Health, and Labour and Vocational Training.
He noted that Cambodia has observed International Labour Day every year since its liberation from the Khmer Rouge’s genocidal regime on January 7, 1979.
Even with the world in the grips of Covid-19, the Cambodian government will organise activities to commemorate this historically significant day.