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3 Apr 2020

Davin Sen, Khmer Times

Cambodia: Govt. takes measures to cover 20% of minimum wages for workers/employees in the tourism sector as Covid-19 causes financial losses

"Measure to offset tourism sector wages amid virus: Government", 2 April 2020

The government announced ... a measure to assist minimum wage workers employed in the tourism sector amid COVID-19 fears.

It said in a statement the government will pay 20 percent of the workers’ minimum wages as the tourism sector deals with loss of income.

The statement said the financial measure will apply to those who are suspended from their jobs at hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and travel agencies.

“[The workers] are required to attend a short course by the Tourism Ministry,” the statement said. “Payments will be made to employees in the tourism sector with links to the National Social Security Fund.”

In addition, the statement said the government will provide tax exemptions to businesses in the tourism sector in the cities of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kep, Kampot, Bavet and Poipet until May...

Chenda Clais, president of the Cambodian Hotel Association, said about 650,000 people were employed as hotel staffers, cooks, drivers, tour guides and travel agents but the number has since dwindled after some businesses suspended operation.

“Some owners had no money to pay wages because they had no income from the hotels,” Ms Clais said. “Others are trying hard to make payroll and provide food to [employees].”...

Thou Srey Mom, a restaurant worker ..., said her employer suspended operation.

“I decided to go home after my employer temporarily closed the restaurant,” Ms Srey Mom said. “[The employer] gave me a bonus, but spending money on food is still difficult when we are suspended.”