Industry Update/National Response
- On 17 April, the government issued instruction 046/20 on quarantine measures for workers who took leave during Khmer New Year and are returning to work in the Phnom Penh area.
- A government instruction from 7 April announced that for factories that temporarily suspend their production with authorization from the MoLVT, workers will receive US$70 per month (US$40 from the government and another US$30 from the employer) for two months, from 10 April 2020. Workers were initially required to participate in training during this time period, a requirement that no longer applies.
- A government instruction from 7 April 2020 informs enterprises that they can delay the payment of seniority indemnity for workers in 2019.
- On 5 April, the Ministry of Health issued instruction No. 059/20 on collective transportation for owners of buses and minivans with more than 10 travellers. The MoH instructs these drivers to properly ventilate their vehicles; encourage all travellers to wear a mask or towel to cover their mouths or noses; regularly clean their vehicles with soap or alcohol; and have hand sanitizer for travellers to clean their hands before getting on the bus. If any driver has symptoms such as a cold, the driver must temporarily suspended his/her work to receive a medical check-up.
- The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training has issued instruction No.004/20 on Preventive Measures against Coronavirus at Enterprises. The guidelines cover provisions for employers and workers, including recommendations for temperature control, hygiene best-practices, and material to communicate with workers on prevention and awareness via factory loud-speaker systems.
- The government issued instruction No.014/20 (February) on contract suspension. Suspended workers can receive 40% of their salary from their employer and an additional 20% from the government (capped at 60%, and conditional on undertaking soft skills training). The government has also suspended National Social Security Fund contributions for garment and textile factories affected by a shortage of raw materials due to COVID-19.
Factory Service Update
- Factory visits, including assessments, are suspended until 29 May.
- Advisory services are being delivered virtually with a focus on distributing World Health Organisation materials on COVID-19 prevention and raising awareness of COVID-19 with the joint worker-management committee members
- To address physical distancing challenges during workers’ commute in collective transportation, posters and flyers on COVID-19 preventive measures for collective transportation drivers and garment workers have been produced in collaboration with WHO and Ministry of Health, as well as Solidarity Center, GIZ and brand partners. These will be disseminated to factories.
- Two industry seminars on COVID-19 have been delivered virtually to factories in late March and early April, and additional four virtual industry seminars on suspension and contract termination, emergency preparedness and COVID-19 and gender were conducted in April and May. A virtual training on machine safety to advisory services was conducted on 8 May. The following upcoming trainings are scheduled. More information is available on the BFC website.
- 20 May: Effective Problem Solving
- 26 May: The Termination of the employment Contract
- 27 May: Gender mainstreaming in the garment industry
- 28 May: Roles and Responsibilities of workers’ representative and Management in industrial relations
Additional Better Work Activities
- A virtual Workshop on COVID-19 regulations was organized on 11 May for local buyer representatives. The objective of the workshop was to share details on regulations released by the government for the garment sector to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.
- The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT), GMAC, Trade Unions, ILO’s OSH Project in Cambodia, and Better Factories Cambodia jointly organized a Virtual World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 29 April.
- Virtual COVID-19 awareness raising sessions (in collaboration with the World Health Organisation), for the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Department of Occupational Safety and Health and its inspectors, and the Provincial Department of Labour have been conducted, so these officials can in turn support factories.
- Union federations have been supported in COVID-19 awareness raising virtually, and the federations have then shared the information with their members and local unions. On 20 May, the BFC team with BWG support, conducted a virtual Gender Awareness session for the BFC Trade Union Contact Group.
- Better Factories Cambodia is liaising with all stakeholders to limit the impact on workers and business and identify a collective approach to support the industry.