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Minimum wage law edges closer

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
The minimum wage for garment workers will rise to $170 per month in 2018. Supplied

A Labour Ministry official has said the law on the minimum wage will come into force in the first quarter of 2018, provided there are no more objections from stakeholders.

Labour Ministry secretary of state Mam Vannak said the draft law had been completed and was being checked. ​He added that some sections of the draft had been deleted on the suggestion of unions.

“Checks of the draft law will be completed soon. It will then be sent to other relevant ministries for further discussions. If there are no more changes or objections from stakeholders, we will send it to the Council of Ministers,” said Mr Vannak.

Mr Vannak said the law on the minimum wage is being introduced to respond to the economic situation, Asean regional integration, and competition in the international commerce sector.

“This draft law will provide many benefits to workers and the nation as a whole because it was created to improve workers’ living standards, increase work opportunities, boost work productivity and push more investment opportunities into Cambodia,” said Mr Vannak.

The draft law has 33 articles and six chapters. Supplied

The draft law has 33 articles across six chapters.

In October, Labour Minister Ith Samheng decided to delete article 16 of the draft law, which would have prevented independent research on the minimum wage, as well as tripartite discussions between government, employers and unions.

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, said yesterday the draft law on the minimum wage will help set the bar for salaries across all sectors.

“This draft law has both advantages and disadvantages,” he said. “For example, unions who are not members of the Council on Wages will not have the right to join discussions on the issue.”

Mr Ath Thorn said article 16 was removed on the request of unions. It would have curtailed their right to conduct research on and discuss the minimum wage.

From 1997 to 2017, the government increased the minimum wage in the garment sector from $30 per month to $153. From January, garment industry workers will be paid $170 per month.

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