The Labour Ministry is merging its inspection department’s team with those in three other ministries to create a single one to conduct checks on industries and factories.
Labour Minister Ith Samheng on Friday led a meeting with officials from the Industry and Handicrafts Ministry, Tourism Ministry and Environment Ministry in order to discuss the merger.
He said that the inspectors from all four ministries will be merged into an inter-institutional labour inspection team.
The merger is part of government reforms aimed at strengthening the Kingdom’s competitiveness and promoting economic diversification.
“In this regard, the Ministry of Labour has been assigned by the government to organise and lead the inter-institutional labour inspection team to reduce the burden of enterprise owners and ensure the efficiency of labour inspections,” Mr Samheng noted.
He said that unlike in the past where teams from different ministries and institutions held inspections at industries or factories at different times, the merged team will only conduct inspections once a year.
“They [the team members] have to prepare a clear list of their purpose and schedule for inspection,” Mr Samheng said. “Hovever, if an offence takes place the team can go down and inspect a place more than once.”
Mr Samheng noted that the ministry will form a working group to discuss the various functions of inspection teams from all four ministries and remove unneeded inspections from the list of priorities.
“We will prepare a new list of the inspection team’s function and its schedule of inspection,” he added.
Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour yesterday said that during Friday’s inter-ministerial meeting, the ministry had asked for the list of the other ministries’ inspections teams.
“We have to check if the subject of the inspections from the other ministries is the same or different from ours and will formulate a common standard or content,” he noted.
Far Saly, president of National Trade Unions Coalition, yesterday said that the merger of the inspection teams will be useless if it fails to pay attention to workers’ problems.
“Even if three or four ministries work together their effort will not be productive if they do not care to look into the needs of workers,” he said. “Previously, when there were teams from four ministries working on worker issues, bad working conditions still remained.”
Mr Saly said he expects all four ministries to help workers to have a better working environment and look into problems they face.