Ministry Outlines Procedures for Businesses Hiring Foreigners

The Labor Ministry released a statement Monday with a list of procedures all businesses in Cambodia that hire foreign workers must follow in order to comply with the country’s long-standing Labor Law.

At the beginning of January, the Labor Ministry and the Interior Ministry’s general department of immigration launched a campaign to more aggressively enforce the Labor Law, much of which has previously gone unenforced.

According to Monday’s statement, which was signed by Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng, the heads of companies who want to employ foreign workers must submit a request to the Labor Ministry or a provincial labor department by the end of November each year.

In order to receive permission to hire foreign staff, companies need to submit a request letter, a list of the desired number of foreign employees and an official request declaration for those workers, which costs 80,000 riel (about $20), it says.

The statement adds that only 10 percent of a company’s workforce can be foreign workers.

“In case there is a need to use more than 10 percent, [the company] must give clear reasons about the need for the specialties or expertise of the foreigner,” it says.

After receiving permission from the Labor Ministry, businesses are then responsible for getting work permits for expatriate staff, the statement says.

In order to get a work permit, the company needs to pay 400,000 riel (about $100) for each expat and submit a copy of their employment contract along with a health certificate from the Labor Ministry, which costs 100,000 riel (about $20).

Work permits for employees with a K visa—issued to Cambodian nationals entering the country on a foreign passport—cost 240,000 riel (about $60).

Any business found employing foreign staff without work permits will be fined between 488,000 riel and 720,000 riel (about $120 to $177), the statement says. It does not say whether that is a one-time fine or for each worker illegally employed.

Earlier this month, the immigration department said businesses would be fined 500,000 riel (about $125) for each foreigner working without a permit.

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