Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM takes to stump on legal limit to overtime




PM takes to stump on legal limit to overtime

PM takes to stump on legal limit to overtime

Prime Minister Hun Sen broached the long-running issue of excessive overtime worked by garment factory employees in a speech yesterday, in what at least one analyst saw as a possible play for garment worker support.

During his commencement speech at the National University of Management, the premier appealed to factories in Cambodia’s garment and footwear sector to only allow employees to work two hours overtime per day, in accordance with the Labour Law.

“Please be careful, the law allows for only two hours [per day] of overtime work,” Hun Sen said. “The workers, especially the female workers, need to work overtime in order to get more money, but please understand that this poorly affects their future.”

With a base salary of $128 per month, workers in Cambodia’s largest export industry are typically forced to work more than the Labour Law’s maximum overtime hours just to make ends meet, said Joel Preston, a consultant for the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC).

“[Excessive overtime has] always been a huge problem, I think it’s endemic,” Preston said.

Paired with this is the wide use of short-term employment contracts, which creates fear among workers that refusal to work hours requested by management will jeopardise the renewal of their contracts.

The low wages and anxiety over contracts function as a “sort of double handcuff”, Preston added

After the speech, Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour said that labour inspectors, who already monitor overtime hours at factories, will be instructed to pay closer attention to the issue. The Labour Ministry will also issue a general warning to Cambodia’s garment factories against allowing employees to work more than two hours overtime per day.

“We thank the recommendation of our prime minister,” Sour said in an interview. “Now the ministry is drafting a warning to the factories to [follow] the Labour Law in terms of overtime.”

Independent political analyst Kem Ley said yesterday that he was not sure why Hun Sen chose yesterday to bring up the issue, but guessed it may have been an attempt to garner support for the Cambodian People’s Party from the industry’s approximately 600,000 workers, noting that the opposition party often publicly supports garment unions.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said