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Cambodia: CENTRAL release analyses of govt.’s implementation of employment suspension allowance scheme in garment & tourism industries during COVID-19 with some discrepancies in workers' entitlement

"Implementation of Government Allowances in the COVID-19 Pandemic", 22 February 2021

Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL) issued a report on ‘Implementation of Government Allowances in the COVID-19 Pandemic’ which analyses the extent of the Royal Government’s implementation of its employment suspension allowance scheme in the garment and tourism industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notwithstanding the low amounts provided to suspended workers by way of allowance, actual implementation of the scheme has been well-handled by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, resulting in the processing and provision of more than 560,000 payments during the pandemic to more than 320,000 employees…

CENTRAL’s report also found that, whilst garment sector factories comprised the majority of enterprises whose workers received suspension allowances, the trend in recent months has shown a higher proportion of tourism sector companies covered. These trends highlight the prolonged effects of the pandemic upon Cambodia’s tourism industry and reflect recent calls by bodies such as the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents for the need for greater government support in the sector…

The report also notes some discrepancies between the publicly reported figures of the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training on the number of suspended enterprises in the tourism sector industry... Moreover, workers at a total of only 84 tourism sector enterprises in Siem Reap have received allowances throughout the life of the scheme. As such, CENTRAL encourages the respective municipal and provincial labour departments to actively investigate these discrepancies and ensure workers receive full payments owed for those prior periods of employment suspension.