Legal Updates for May 2020

COVID-19: Empolyers' Road to Reopening

The global economy has taken a staggering hit following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Country after country has announced full lockdowns or issued a multitude of orders intended to limit the movement of people.

As the pandemic shows signs of being brought under control in some countries, governments have begun looking to the future, cautiously seeking to restart their economies without triggering another outbreak. With ten member firms throughout Southeast Asia, Rajah & Tann Asia is uniquely positioned to address queries that employers and businesses with cross-border dealings within this region of high economic interconnectivity and interdependency may have, particularly with regard to the anticipated reopening of businesses.

Our member firms hail from the jurisdictions of Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. This COVID-19 Publication brings together our lawyers from all member firms to answer the following questions:

  1. Is your jurisdiction under some form of movement control restrictions, whether full or partial ("Restrictions")? If so, what Restrictions are in place?
  2. Are businesses open and functioning during these Restrictions?
  3. If businesses are not allowed to open, how long is this situation expected to last?
  4. What conditions need to be in place to allow businesses to open and continue to function, and what are employers’ legal obligations in this situation?
  5. What is the risk to employers who reopen their premises for business? What additional measures should employers take to manage their liabilities?
Letter on Non-Extension Visa for Foreigners who have not Registered in the FPCS

The General Department of Immigration of the Ministry of Interior of Cambodia issued on 27 April 2020 Letter No. 0183 on Non-Extension Visa for Foreigners who have not registered in the foreigners present in Cambodia System ("FPCS").

FPCS was put in place in 2010 with the aim of effectively enforcing the Cambodian Law on Immigration. The Letter is issued in line with Guideline No. 028 dated 19 July 2019 on the Management of Foreigner’s Presence in the Kingdom of Cambodia (“Guideline”), which follows Guideline No. 009 dated 25 March 2010 on the Management of Foreigner’s Presence in the Kingdom of Cambodia. This Guideline requires the owners or possessors (but not limited to foreign owners or possessors) of all accommodations to report foreigners’ presence in their places of accommodation to the Police Commune-Sangkat Office within the prescribed period.

Cambodia Labour Law Developments: 1st Quarter of 2020

This Update provides a summary of the key labour law developments in Cambodia in the first quarter of 2020. These include the following:

• Payment Schedule for Monthly Contribution to National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for March 2020

• Tax Exemption on Seniority Payment from 2020

• Requirement to Update Employees’ Phone Numbers

• Notification on Additional Reminders on Preventive Measures for COVID-19 at Factories, Enterprises, Establishments

• Preventive Measures for COVID-19 and other Respiratory Diseases at the Technical and Vocational Education Training Institutions

• Guideline on Employment Contract Suspension, Soft Skill Course Registration and Suspension of Monthly Contribution to NSSF for Garment, Textile, Footwear and Traveling Products and Bag Sectors Suffering from Insufficiency of Raw Materials Caused by COVID-19

• Inter-ministerial Inspectors for Manufacturing Sector

• Use of Collective Infirmary and Health Base

• Protection of Professional Secrecy by Labour Inspectors

• Implementation of the Compensation for Special Leave

• Law on Amendment to the Law on Trade Union

Guideline on Health and Livelihood Protection of Cambodian International Migrants and Returnees During COVID-19 Containment

On 29 April 2020, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued Guideline No. 048/20 MLVT on Health and Livelihood Protection of Cambodian International Migrants and Returnees During COVID-19 Containment (“Guideline”). The Guideline mandates the returnees to, among other things, follow the guidelines of the competent authority at the land border and airport for health check measure implementation and 14-day quarantine after arrival, and contact the local authorities for intervention if any problem affecting their daily livelihood during the COVID-19 containment arises.

Law on the Administration of the Nation during a State of Emergency

The Law on the Administration of the Nation during a State of Emergency (“Law”) was promulgated with immediate effect on 29 April 2020. Under the Law, the country can be placed under a state of emergency via a Royal Decree if Cambodia is faced with a serious threat to the national security, public health, and societal order. The state of emergency may be declared for a period of no longer than three months. If the situation demands, such period may be extended. At the appropriate time and circumstance, the state of emergency may be withdrawn by a Royal Decree via the request of the Prime Minister.