Dead Worker’s Family Promised Compensation

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) said on Thursday that it would compensate the family of a man who died on the job last month at a factory in Kandal province that produces clothing for H&M.

The NSSF said it had determined that Vorn Sitha, who died on July 19 at age 38 on the grounds of New Archid factory after a 16-hour shift, had died of work-related exhaustion.

However, the NSSF could not specify what funds would be available to the widow of Vorn Sitha and said that apart from money for a funeral, funds would not come “in a hurry.”

“The factory set the condition to [make] workers work overtime and beyond their energy. That is wrong,” said NSSF spokesman Meng Hong.

“About compensation, we will proceed according to the law but we cannot get it in a hurry,” Mr. Hong added.

Article 19 of the Law on Social Security Schemes says that in the event of the death of an employee of an NSSF member, which New Archid is, the NSSF “shall provide funeral benefits and pension for survivors of the victim.”

Mr. Hong, the NSSF spokesman, said he was not clear about what pension Vorn Sitha’s wife and two sons—aged 5 and 8—would be eligible to receive.

Oeun Samol, compliance supervisor at New Archid, said that NSSF and labor laws prescribed an ongoing payment to the family.

“By law, the NSSF is required to pay 70 percent of [Vorn Sitha’s] total salary until the children are 18 or until the wife is remarried,” Mr. Samol said.

Mr. Hong of the NSSF said that the death should prompt the Kandal provincial labor department to launch an investigation into the conditions surrounding employees’ overtime at New Archid.

However, Phol Neang, director of the Kandal labor department, said an investigation could only be triggered by an official complaint, an event he thought unlikely given that the NSSF had agreed to pay compensation.

“When the [family of Vorn Sitha] gets money from the NSSF, they will not file a complaint to us. It is their fault because the worker, factory and union agreed [to work overtime],” Mr. Neang said.

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