ILO encourages Cambodian government, employers and workers to engage in tripartite dialogue while elaborating a minimum wage law complying with the adopted Decent Work Country Programme (2016-18) and relevant international labour standards.

Statement | Phnom Penh | 22 August 2017

BANGKOK (ILO News) – The ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR notes the important progress Cambodia has made on the process of minimum wage determination in the garment, textile and footwear sector.

The draft Law on Minimum Wage presently under discussion reflects many of these improvements.By taking into account relevant information and evidence, and relying on tripartite dialogue, the minimum wage in this sector has been able to increase, without jeopardizing the achievements in terms of exports, production and competitiveness.Expanding the coverage of the present minimum wage regime to include other sectors of the economy is also timely and welcome.

The ILO has supported this initiative by providing economic and legal advice and supported over the last years several capacity development initiatives for the government and the social partners.

The amendments put forward by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training provide greater clarity on certain articles.However, the ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR wishes to highlight some issues that should be re-examined through further deliberation and tripartite dialogue.

The coordination of the draft law with the relevant provisions of the Labour Code (1997) remains unclear. Several provisions are in keeping with the existing Labour Code, while other key ones (in particular on the elements to consider for the determination of minimum wage) have a different wording, and Article 32 provides that “all provisions contrary to this law shall be abrogated”. The absence of designation in the draft of the “contrary” provisions in the pre-existing legislation risks creating uncertainty as to the applicable law.

Some other provisions would have the effect of restricting the freedom of expression and debate on minimum wage issues, both outside and inside the National Minimum Wage Council.These risk undermining an effective and transparent consultative process and may be found contrary to standards on freedom of association. These include Article 10; Article 12; Article 16; and Articles 23, 25, and 26.

The ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR encourages the Royal Government of Cambodia and the National Assembly to take into account suggestions made in relation to the draft legislation and calls on all parties to engage in tripartite dialogue in keeping with the key elements of the adopted Kingdom of Cambodia Decent Work Country Programme (2016-18) and relevant international labour standards.

The ILO stands ready to continue its advisory services to its tripartite constituents in Cambodia as they advance with this important legislative initiative.

For further information, please contact:
Laetitia Dard
Senior Communication Officer
International Labour Organization Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific


The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ASEAN Trade Union Council.