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Labour Ministry threatens employers of migrants who failed to register in time

Apr 01. 2018
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By THE NATION

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Authorities would take legal action against employers who failed to register migrant workers, as nearly 60,000 were left undocumented as the deadline expired at midnight on Saturday, Labour Minister Adul Saengsingkaew said yesterday.

As the March 31 deadline passed, official records showed that 1,320,035 workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, or 96 per cent of the target population, had registered to legally to work in Thailand. Of the documented number, 961,946 workers had completed their registrations and 127, 429 were only partially finished, which counted as them being effectively registered, the minister said. About 190,000 workers who registered online but could not complete the entire process in time would be allowed to work as authorities continued to finish the work, he said. There were no further details about the remaining workers considered to be registered.

People who failed to register needed to return home and be reprocessed through other channels in their respective countries, Adul said at a press briefing concluding the registration process. 

Registration is especially significant because the new migrant worker laws entail harsh fines of Bt400,000 to Bt800,000 for each illegal migrant worker, which would be paid by employers, while workers could face five years in prison, fines of Bt2,000 to Bt100,000 or both. The law has been amended with lower punishments but that has not come into effect yet. 

A group of NGOs working with the cross-border population yesterday called on the government to make further exceptions for migrants who failed to register on time, saying authorities were responsible for the inability to register everyone on time. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha thanked concerned parties including employers for their cooperation registering massive numbers of migrant workers.

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