National Assembly set to decide on labour law amendment

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Labour minister Ith Sam Heng during a meeting at the ministry on Tuesday. LABOUR MINISTRY

The National Assembly (NA) will hold a plenary session soon to pass draft amendments to eight articles of the labour law after the NA’s expert committee reviewed them and received input from Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng.

On July 27, Sam Heng and his team attended a virtual meeting with the NA’s commission on healthcare, social affairs, veterans and youth rehabilitation, and labour and vocational training to discuss the draft law.

The eight articles that will be amended are 123, 138, 162, 300, 343, 350, 363 and 367.

On July 9, the Council of Ministers approved the draft law including the decision to keep night shift wages for workers in the garment and footwear sector at 130 per cent of regular wages. It rejected a proposal that their pay rate be lowered to the same amount as the day shift.

Sam Heng said the amendments to the labour law came from the government’s sweeping socio-economic reforms in the context of globalisation and the rapidly advancing technological revolution.

This advancement requires human resources and working conditions that are able to compete with other developing nations to attract international investors, he said.

“Moreover, based on the context of the economy and society and with the attraction of investors in mind, we have to review the working conditions of our country. Annual holidays and our wages are higher than all but a few countries in the ASEAN region. Not only that, certain neighbouring countries have more workers than our country,” Sam Heng said.

The NA said on July 27 that the expert committee had agreed to refer the draft law on amendments to the labour law to its Permanent Committee for review and put it on agenda for the NA’s plenary session expected to take place in the coming days.

Lork Kheng – chairperson for the NA’s commission reviewing the amendments – said the labour law was a crucial legal framework in promoting labour rights and harmony in professional relations as Cambodia has been striving to develop the labour sector.

“It connects national and international trades through the growth of investment of the private sector, especially the industrial, garment and footwear sectors,” she said.