Ensuring a responsible transition towards digital wages in the garment sector

In Cambodia, the garment industry provides formal jobs to more than 800,000 workers, of whom 80 per cent are women. Many of these workers are still receiving their wages in cash. World Bank data suggests that in 2021, only 33 per cent of male adults and 34 per cent of female adults had a bank account. The pandemic has led more employers to transition to digital wages to minimise human interactions during financial transactions, to continue to pay wages timely during factory suspensions and lockdowns and to wire government emergency support to the workers. The transition needs to be scaled up and conducted responsibly for the benefits of all workers, the factories and the government.

We support the transition to digital wages in partnership with Better Factories Cambodia (BFC). Since 2001, BFC has joined with workers, employers, government, and multinational businesses to spur improvements in factory working conditions and to boost the competitiveness of the garment industry. We leverage BFC’s expertise and ongoing work with 59 retailers and brands, over 550 factories, and 610,000 workers to achieve impact at scale.

Our intervention:

  • Document and disseminate evidence, good practices, and tools on responsible wage digitization
  • Facilitate learning exchanges on wage digitization
  • Build capacities of employers and workers’ organizations to support the transition
  • Support garment factories and their workers to transition to responsible digital wage payments
  • Forge local partnerships for interventions to support the responsible transition to digital wage payments and increase workers’ financial literacy.
  • Engage and support financial service providers to offer inclusive digital wage solutions and associated services
  • Facilitate social dialogue for a conducive regulatory and policy framework

Our partners

  • Better Factories Cambodia
  • Textile, apparel, footwear, and travel goods association in Cambodia (TAFTAC)
  • Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training
  • Workers' organizations
  • International brands and retailers
  • Garment, footwear and travel goods factories
  • RISE
  • Financial service providers

Our team

  • Virak Nuon, Project officer