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Employers get breathing space as govt delays new migrant worker law

Jun 30. 2017
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By The Nation

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The government will delay enforcing stringent measures to penalise violators of the new foreign labour law by 120 days to minimise negative impacts on employers and migrant workers, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Friday.

Wissanu said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will exercise his authority under Article 44 of the interim charter to suspend enforcement of sections 101, 102 and 122 of the new law during the 120-day period, starting June 23, so that all the parties have more time to comply with the new requirements.

The resolution came after a meeting of Wissanu and related agencies –the Labour Ministry, the Council of State, National Security Council, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking at Government House.

The Board of Trade and Federation of Thai Industries earlier called on the government to ease the pressure on employers of migrant workers since, under the new law, they would be subject to a heavy fine of Bt400,000 to Bt800,000 per migrant worker if they are found to have hired workers who do not have proper documentation.

According to the new law, migrant workers also face a heavy fine of up to Bt100,000 per person and/or a jail term of up to five years, if they do not have valid work permits, while recruitment agencies can be fined up to Bt1 million per migrant worker if they violate the law.

The private sector also asked the government to open a new round of registration for migrant workers while its representatives should be involved in helping to draft regulations on employment of migrant workers. In addition, they asked the government to launch a major public relations campaign to boost awareness of stringent measures under the new law.

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