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Ministry pushes fortnightly pay

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Unions back the more frequent payment of wages as protection for workers in the event of factory closures. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Labor Ministry is encouraging employers, with the support of unions, to implement article 116 of the Labor Law, which requires owners of enterprises and factories to pay their workers twice a month.
Fa Saly, the president of the National Trade Union Confederation, told Khmer Times yesterday it was good the ministry decided employers must pay workers twice a month to protect them from being abandoned by employers who owe them wages.
He said he supports and encourages employers to implement article 116 of the Labor Law. Workers can receive a tax exemption when their wages are paid twice monthly, he added.
Pav Sina, the president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said yesterday he did not oppose the ministry’s decision as the law was created in 1997, although he has never seen it implemented.
He said the ministry decided to change the way workers were paid as some factories had closed recently with the owners escaping without paying employees, which resulting in worker protests to demand wages and other lost benefits.
“I want the ministry and other relevant institutions to broadcast this point to the workers, especially the unions, so they understand,” he said.
“They have to organize a way to pay workers whether they have to pay once every two weeks or choose an exact date so there aren’t any problems when it’s time for implementation.”
Labor Ministry spokesman Heng Sour told Khmer Times yesterday evening that the ministry is in talks with employers to set a suitable time to start the bimonthly payments.
According to the Union News website last weekend, the ministry will push employers to start paying workers twice monthly in October despite the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia having asked to postpone implementation until next year.
Labor Minister Ith Samheng used the Labor Ministry’s annual meeting in February to raise the issue of factory workers being abandoned by managers who flee without paying them, proposing the twice-monthly pay plan as a way to limit losses experienced by workers.

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