Suspended Tourism Workers to Receive Benefits

Tourism workers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic will receive benefits as part of a third round of government packages to revive the sector
Tourists visit Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap. Kiripost/Iea Sonita
Tourists visit Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap. Kiripost/Iea Sonita

The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT) announced on Monday the opening of benefits for suspended tourism workers in accordance with the government's package of measures.

The Ministry said 1,751 workers of the 19 tourism enterprises have been granted a moratorium in accordance with the spirit of the third round of the package of measures. The government said Wing Bank Cambodia (WBC) will send a message about the allowance payment to the telephone number provided to the Ministry through the Enterprise Administration in the past.

This allowance will be paid in Riel and depends on the number of days of suspension of the employment contract, which is $30 for the suspension of the employment contracts for 11 days to 20 days and $40 for suspension of employment contracts from 21 days to one month.

“Wing Bank will return this subsidy to the Royal Government if you fail to pay this subsidy within 10 days after receiving the phone message from Wing Bank,” the MLVT stated in the press release.

Chhay Sivlin, Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), said on Wednesday that the tourism sector reopened about one year ago in phases. However, the rebound has been slow and workers have not yet returned to tourism businesses and tour operators.

“There are still some workers that find it difficult to return due to the situation and business owners, despite efforts to open a location, have not yet received much income,” Sivlin told Kiripost on Wednesday.

She added that the government has always taken measures to help the private sector and taken encouraging measures to return, but workers have not received a full salary.

“In the spirit of the government, continue to provide incentives to workers," she said.

Business owner still cut workers’ salaries by 10 percent to 20 percent, but to reopen owners require workers to return. Sivlin noted that salaries are still cut by 40 percent to 50 percent.

"Even though it is fully prepared, the salary is still not fully received," she added.

She concluded that problems arise because owners, including travel agents, restaurants, resorts, hotels and guesthouses, have to pay back the debt caused by the Covid crisis.