The National Social Security Fund on Tuesday held a meeting to discuss social security coverage for informal workers who are often on short-term contracts or are paid by the day with no contract at all, such as construction workers.
NSSF executive director Ouk Samvichea said after the meeting that both formal and informal workers have the right to social protection.
Mr Samvichea said that the NSSF has set up a social security fund to insure all employees.
He admitted, however, that informal employees, such as construction workers, do not always get the coverage they need.
“It’s hard to manage them because the workers are not specified to one employer,” Mr Samvichea said, noting that workers who aren’t covered are less likely to recover from work-related injuries.
“That’s why the NSSF is discussing the issue,” he said. “We must study the situation first and we’ll find a way to find the funds to insure informal workers.”
Prime Minister Hun Sen in January said that government officials must push for coverage of informal workers.
Mr Hun Sen said that the government’s social protection policy now offers free medical benefits to all types of workers.
Chem Chamroeun, a construction worker, said yesterday that he earns $5 per day and does not have insurance.
He said that the cost of medical treatment is often a burden that he has to bear himself.
“If I get sick or injured, I pay for the treatment myself,” Mr Chamroeun said. “Sometimes, I would get a kind employer and the employer would give me money for treatment.”
With many construction sites across the country, many workers are vulnerable at their job sites.
Earlier this month, four construction workers died and another sustained serious injuries when an elevator collapsed at their construction site.
In July, the government created a national committee tasked with improving safety standards on construction sites.