Talks to insure construction workers continue

Talks to insure construction workers continue

Issues surrounding insuring construction workers were discussed between the Cambodia Constructors Association (CCA) and a high-level research delegation comprised of India-based Deft Advisory and Research Private Limited (DEFT), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Cambodian government-backed National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

The discussion on the topic of construction labour which was organised on 8 August at the CCA secretariat was a follow-up meeting after an initial meeting in July.  Besides talking about insurance coverage for construction workers across Cambodia, discussions also extended to the supply chain valuation and construction market in the kingdom.   

The CCA and seven of its members presented the situation of building workers to the visiting delegation. They also exchanged views on how to help those workers and the nation’s overall construction environment.  

Officials from the nation’s social security fund, NSSF, with support from the ILO and DEFT asked the CCA for the official data of construction workers in Cambodia, especially the blue-collar workers employed by constructors that are members of the association. They also asked for the exact number of construction workers in the country if possible. Once the data is provided, they will be able to apply the scheme for the workers’ insurance.  

After registering as a member of the NSSF, constructors [employers/business owners] are required to pay a contribution of 0.8 percent of each worker’s monthly wage. That means if a worker has monthly wage bellow 200,000 Riel (USD 50), the firm owner has to pay 1,600 Riel (USD 0.39) to the NSSF fund. The fund will cover each worker with employment injury coverage which includes work injuries, commuting accidents, and occupational diseases. Once the worker incurs an injury, the NSSF will cover the treatment of worker until he or she [worker] recovers.   

First established in 1955, the NSSF completely disappeared during the genocidal regime (1975-79) but has been re-instituted since 2008. Initiated and run by the Cambodian government, NSSF plays a crucial role in providing basic social security protection to employees in the private sector. It has also registered members, collected contribution funds, managed NSSF finances, and implemented and provided benefits to injured workers or beneficiaries.

However, the 8 August meeting did not produce any concrete results, since CCA is not able to extract accurate data of the total number of workers in the sector. “We are afraid that we could not give you [DEFT] the real data of the workers as they move from one constructor to another very often,” Chiv Sivpheng, CCA general manager explained.

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