Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged the owners of informal sector enterprises to register with the Labour Ministry to secure employee benefits for their staff.
Speaking to more than 10,000 factory workers on Wednesday at Canadia Industrial Park, he said workers would get the same perks as those employed in the formal sector under the plans.
“The owners of informal enterprises must register with the Labour Ministry. If they do not register, their workers will not receive the same benefits as the other workers in formal enterprises,” Mr Hun Sen said.
“I want to call on all informal enterprise employers to register with the ministry. Even the cleaners at Koh Pich exhibition centre who took selfies with me last week need to be identified as workers, so they can receive employee benefits.”
Vun Samphors, president of the Cambodian Domestic Workers Network, backed Mr Hun Sen’s call, saying it could improve the living standards of the poorest workers.
“I support the idea because there are a lot of workers employed by informal enterprises, but I am worried about the registration process, because it is so strict and complicated,” she said.
Ms Samphors said the livelihoods of informal enterprise workers would improve if they could receive government benefits through the National Social Security Fund.
“Cleaners and domestic workers in the informal sector often have an unstable income,” she added.
Ou Teppphallin, vice-president of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation, also lauded the plan.
She said the move would protect people who suffered accidents at work and would provide health insurance.
“Informal sector employers never register with the NSSF, so when their workers get into accidents, they do not have protection,” she said.