Following the promulgation of Prakas 443 on Seniority Indemnity Payment, all members of the forum decided to unify their advocacy efforts under the umbrella of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce and it chairman, Neak Oknha Kith Meng, to engage the government.
Their First Objective was to resolve issues related to the implementation of Prakas 443. Following the suggestion, a working committee on 443 including MLVT, MEF and members of the PS appointed by CCC was formally formed under the co-chairmanship of CCC and MLVT. Originally, the committee presented with two options: to outright oppose its Prakas 443 introduction or to instead negotiate with the Royal Government to attempt to lessen the financial impact that this legislation would have on the business community. Due to the unique conditions that enabled the implementation of this law, and the strong willingness shown by MLVT to cooperate with them to find ways to implement the Prakas so it lessens the financial burden, they took the part to negotiate the implementation of 443 so to find an acceptable solution for all parties. Following these negotiations, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has just reported back to them last night that they agree for all sectors (except garment) delaying the back payment component of Prakas 443 until late 2021, and has reduced the number of days employers are required to pay yearly workers for their seniority indemnity from 15 days to 8 days. A formal announcement will be made later in March. Furthermore, at their request and to help them to sustain these unforeseen cost, the MLVT and NSSF are re-considering seriously the pension contribution rate from 8% to 4% and intends to convene a meeting to review the contribution rate. A Prakas should be issued in November for a formal implementation January 2020. While the introduction of Prakas 443 will still create an unanticipated and significant financial burden, they have achieved some success to minimise this, thanks to their united private sector voice under the leadership of Neak Oknha Kith Meng and also thanks to the understanding of the Royal Government. Also as result of these ongoing negotiations, they have a hint that they could possibility negotiate on reducing the number of public holidays offered. They would like to suggest that each representative from the private sector should write a letter to His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance, Chairman of the National Committee on Financial and Economic Policy, requesting a meeting to discuss this issue. They intend to prepare a template for all associations to use to ensure their messaging is aligned, using the argument of enhancing Cambodia’s commercial competitiveness.