The Department of Labor said yesterday that the creation of nurseries and breastfeeding facilities in factories will increase employee productivity.
The deputy division chief of the National Committee for Combating Child Labor and Cooperation, Ou Ha, said during the Khmer time‘ Cross-Talk that according to Article 186 of the Labor Law, all directors of companies that employ at least 100 women must set up a crèche and rooms for breastfeeding a baby in or near the establishment.
Ha added that if the company could not afford a crèche for children, female workers could send their children to a crèche at the employer’s expense.
“I would like to point out that with regard to article 186 of the labor law, there are two other articles which are relevant, article 184 and article 185, because the law stipulates obligations for women who are breastfeeding and the payment of salary during maternity leave in general,” he said.
“Many companies set up lactation rooms in two sessions: 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon, when the woman agrees with the employer, and article 185 of the law on work also stipulates that this time is not deducted from regular leave,” he added.
He added that, of course, every factory that has a crèche must have a professional early childhood specialist to develop the child’s physical, social and emotional well-being as well as language.
“It will have a lot of positive effects, such as giving a warm feeling to mothers to do a good job without worrying about the insecurity of her child being sent outside so that she has the confidence to do a good job” , Ha said. “Factory owners are getting better performance because there aren’t many workers on furlough or asking for permission to rest because of their kids.”
Deputy Director of the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Khann Tola said the ministry now had a lot of work to coordinate and promote the implementation of the law, including inspections to ensure that factories comply.
Tola said, “We are encouraging and working with stakeholders to establish community nurseries for the care of factory workers (World Bank, Ministry of Education and others).
He added that according to a recent report by the Ministry of Labour, there are 13,919 factories in Cambodia with a total of 1,463,618 workers of which 64.69% are women.
Most employers provide fees or other materials to the mother for childcare instead of setting up lactation rooms or nurseries in the factory.
He added that despite efforts to enforce labor laws and the involvement of factory owners, factories still face challenges in setting up lactation rooms and nurseries, such as the location of the factory and the search for suitable professional child care specialists.
He said the ministry plans to continue to strengthen and implement relevant labor laws and regulations using various mechanisms, especially regular inspections to encourage all factory owners to comply with the law.
“In addition, the ministry will continue to cooperate with other ministries, institutions and partner organizations to promote the establishment of lactation rooms and nurseries, whether in factories, enterprises or in the community, for the benefit of workers, factory owners, businesses and everyone,” he said.