March 2022: Better Work will resume in-person assessment visits from 7 March.
February 2022: Better Work suspended in-person assessment visits from 17 February until 4 March due to the COVID-19 situation in the country.
January 2022: The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT) has ended its financial support for suspended garment workers (in total, support during COVID-19 covered 329,694 workers and in total $23 million). The government is now focusing on the support to the tourism sector.
The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has launched a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the management of all factories and enterprises on a path towards the “new normal” in the context of COVID-19. The procedures aim to ensure the sustainability of production and minimize the risk of COVID-19.
Cambodia has continued to administer booster vaccines for the population. Currently, the fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccines are being administered; over 10 million people have received the 1st dose while the 3rd booster dose has been given to around 5 million people.
November – December 2021: Suspended workers from the garment, textile, and footwear sectors will continue to receive the standard US$40 per month until the end of December 2021. Moreover, an additional US$30 per month contributed by their employers (thus totalling US$70 per month) will also continue.
Cambodia’s garment industry is the cornerstone of the economy accounting for 57 percent of the Kingdom’s exports and making up around 80 percent of its gross domestic product.
The Ministry of Commerce has set up a working group to study and collect input from stakeholders and the private sector to develop strategies to maximize the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement with Korea and China
COVID has spurred the Kingdom to further catalyse action to improve its digital readiness and resilience to future crises and create opportunities for Cambodians and local communities to seize the advantages of digitalisation and propelling into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Factory Service Update
Onsite assessment has resumed since 3 January 2022 and advisory service has been gradually resuming since December. BFC will continue to conduct virtual training during this time and will resume in February 2022.
BFC launched the Factory Ambassadors’ Induction Program on 16 June, attended by 150 participants representing 92 factories. The purpose of the programme is to: build the capacity of enterprise compliance staff, to establish a counterpart at the enterprise level for BFC advisors to facilitate meetings virtually, and to continue building sustainable factory-level services.
Advisory services are being delivered virtually with a focus on distributing World Health Organization materials on COVID-19 prevention and raising awareness of COVID-19 with the joint worker-management committee members
To address physical distancing challenges during workers’ commute in collective transportation, posters and flyers on COVID-19 preventive measures for collective transportation drivers and garment workers have been produced in collaboration with WHO and Ministry of Health, as well as Solidarity Center, GIZ and brand partners. These will be disseminated to factories.
Additional Better Work Activities
In November 2021, Better Factories Cambodia celebrated its 20th Anniversary virtually which was attended by the government, employers, trade unions’ representatives, brands/buyers and over 200 relevant stakeholders. The celebration marks a significant milestone for the programme and the ILO, as we reflect on the impact of the programme on this ever-changing industry, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to our constituents, stakeholders and staff who made this 20-year long journey possible. The celebration marks a significant milestone for the programme and the ILO, as we looked back over the last two decades and reflect the impact of the programme on this ever-changing industry, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to our constituents, stakeholders and staff who made these 20 years long journey possible.
In October 2021: The Better Factories Cambodia with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training representatives of workers, unions, and the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) came together via online to celebrate the 61st World Day for Occupational Safety and Health 2021 under the theme “Anticipate, Prepare and Respond to the Crisis: Invest Now in the Resilient OSH System” which had approximately 1,300 stakeholders participated. The event aims to urge all stakeholders to develop response plans and measures necessary to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the workplace.
Leadership Programme – Responding to the learning needs of the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training’s officials, BFC has started to provide capacity building to MOLVT’s officials on leadership skills since the beginning of the year 2020. The main goal of this leadership programme is to equip the officials with the necessary leadership skills to manage their employees in each department aiming for enhancing high performance and work quality.