PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) – Cambodia’s Labor Ministry has ordered garment and footwear factories to limit overtime for employees to only two hours per day in order to help improve workers’ health, according to a directive out on Sunday.
“Working overtime is allowed only two hours per day and the working duration should not exceed 10 hours per day,” said the directive signed by Labor Minister Ith Samheng, adding that factories should ask for permission from the ministry before allowing their employees to work overtime.
“Working overtime should be made on a voluntary basis,” it said.
“The Labor Ministry will take strict measures in accordance with the Labor Law and other effective regulations against any factory owners who violate this directive.”
Mr. Samheng said the directive was issued after the Labor Ministry has observed that some factories allowed employees to work overtime excessively, resulting in workers’ poor health and frequent labor incidents.
“The directive is aimed at maintaining the sustainability of labor forces and labor incident prevention,” he said.
Garment and footwear industry, the country’s largest foreign currency earner, comprises 960 factories with 620,000 workers. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the sector exported products worth $6.2 billion last year.
The minimum monthly wage for the sector is $128. The Labor Ministry reported that some 1,806 workers fainted during working hours last year mainly due to overwork, poor health, poor environment, exposure to chemical substances and hysteria.