The Ministry of Labour yesterday issued a directive aimed at helping informal workers register for their Health Equity Fund membership card from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
According to the directive signed by Minister Ith Samheng, associations and NGOs which support informal workers must help them register with the NSSF.
Associations and NGOs must have a licence recognised by the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour and informal workers must have a Khmer Identity card, certificates of current occupation and residence issued by the proper authorities, in order to register.
The Ministry also made it clear that there is no fee to register for the Health Equity Fund.
Vorn Pov, president of Independent Democratic Association of Informal Economy (IDEA), said yesterday that his association is very pleased with the announcement.
“It is good for informal workers to receive the same treatment at state hospitals as formal workers when they are sick or have health problems,” he said.
However, Pov noted that there is no accurate census of informal workers, such as tuk-tuk drivers, moto-taxi drivers, street vendors, housecleaners and cooks.
He said that the process of registering is easy for drivers because they can get an occupation certificate via their driving license, but it is difficult for street vendors to get a certificate.
“We wonder how street vendors can access an occupation certificate or who could assist them. We will discuss this with the ministry,” Pov said.
Srey Nang, a domestic helper, said that she is pleased that informal workers like herself can now get the Health Equity card.
“I heard before that any workers with an institution are taken care of, but now informal workers will also receive benefits from the Health Equity Fund,” she said.
At a discussion organised by the Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights (CENTRAL) in May, IDEA said street vendors and tuk-tuk drivers have found themselves struggling to earn income since January, as they feel the pinch amid the coronavirus pandemic and asked the government to help.