The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training disbursed its 89th cash payment to 3,223 workers employed by 33 different enterprises in the tourism sector located in Siem Reap, according to the ministry statement.
The cash is set for whose contracts were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic and have yet to be reinstated due to the ongoing downturn in tourism numbers, according to the ministry’s January 31 statement.
“This cash assistance will be paid in Khmer riel and depend on the number of days of suspension of employment contract. An amount of $30 will be paid to the workers whose employment contracts have been suspended for 11 to 20 days and $40 will be paid to staff whose employment contracts have been suspended from 21 days to one month or more,” the ministry’s statement reads.
Wing Bank will send a message about the payments to the telephone numbers provided by the tourism workers to the ministry through their employers in the past. The bank will return these cash payments to the government if a cash withdrawal is not made within 10 days after receiving the message from the bank.
“In case workers at these 33 enterprises do not receive phone messages from Wing Bank, please contact us for more information or update their phone numbers to their enterprise administration,” said the ministry.
On January 30, the government announced that it would continue to exempt all tourism related businesses in Siem Reap such as hotels, guesthouses, travel agencies and tour operators from all types of monthly taxes except for the value-added tax (VAT) through March, 2023.
The government has also decided to continue to provide mediation between businesses and banks and micro-lenders by freezing loans and not allowing the principle balances to accumulate interest as well.
Mam Rithy, president of the Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation, said the fact that the ministry is continuing to make cash payments to affected tourism workers is an excellent example of a social support service in action.
“The assistance is an indicator of the government’s deep concern for the well-being of workers. If it is possible, I would also like to see this support continue for employees in other industries that have been affected by the pandemic, such as the garment sector,” he added.