Ministry: Update worker contact info

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A March 23 notice stipulates that all workers give clear and up-to-date contact numbers to senior officials at their workplaces. Hong Menea

THE Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has told factories, companies and hotel owners across the Kingdom to keep up-to-date contact details of their workers in case they need to be contacted if a Covid-19 outbreak occurs in the workplace.

A March 23 notice signed by Minister Ith Sam Heng said the ministry requires all workers to give clear and up-to-date contact numbers to senior officials at their workplaces.

It also warned that failure to do so by employees or employers will result in fines and penalties according to the law.

The notice said: “Those in charge of administrations, companies or others are required to update the contact numbers of your employees and give it to a working inspector before March 26.

“Also, all workers must give an up-to-date phone number to their employers and need to be contactable on that number throughout March, April, May and so forth.

“If any worker changes his or her contact number, they will need to inform a senior immediately,” the notice said.

The ministry has given business owners three days from March 24 to 26 to update employee phone numbers and send them to the inspection department of the Ministry of Labour and the departments of labour in the capital and provinces.

“Owners or directors of companies, factories and hotels who fail to update employee contact numbers will be fined by the inspectors according to the Labour Law and are liable to penalties according to the law in effect,” the ministry warned.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) secretary-general Kaing Monika said the three-day deadline is realistic for owners as the information should be easily accessible and mostly up-to-date.

“The Ministry of Labour has brought in these measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Being able to contact workers in the event of an outbreak is extremely important, and if they are infected, they should let the workplace know as soon as possible.

“Where possible, owners and directors should also use electronic cash transfer systems to pay workers,” he said.

The Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW) president Pav Sina told The Post on Tuesday that updating contact numbers during the pandemic is critical.

“Some employees don’t care about updating their contact numbers.

They often change their contact numbers without telling their employers. So hopefully this message is widely disseminated,” he said.

He said if the ministry requires that all workers update their contact numbers, they will be forced to use only one phone number.

If the announcement is disseminated effectively, he said workers will stop changing their contact numbers, especially during the current pandemic.

“We understand that employees cannot use one smartphone forever, but during the pandemic, they should keep retaining the same number to ensure their contact is up-to-date.

“By retaining contact numbers and ensuring they are up-to-date, we will quickly be able to contact people should anyone be exposed to Covid-19 or develop symptoms,” he said.

Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (Cawdu) president Ath Thon said the measures would enable the ministry to effectively manage the workforce and ensure every employee is contactable should issues arise.

“It also means that it is difficult for companies to conceal the number of workers they have as they will need to provide a contact number for each employee.

“Owners and employers have a duty to pay suspended workers 40 per cent of the minimum wage, with the remaining 20 per cent being subsidised by the government.

“The move by the ministry will ensure that all employees are on the books, with up to date contact numbers, proving they are eligible for the compensation. It is a win-win situation to stop the spread of Covid-19 and also to ensure people receive suspension pay,” he said.