Thailand addresses labour shortage and illegal workers
Thailand addresses labour shortage and illegal workersLegacy

Thailand’s National Committee on Migrant Workers Management approved three strategic guidelines to address the country’s labour shortage and tackle the issue of illegal workers. A proposal for these new guidelines is expected to be forwarded to the cabinet for approval soon.

Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn announced after a committee meeting this Wednesday, commenting that the ongoing political conflict in Myanmar between the military junta and ethnic rebel groups has led many people of its people to flee to Thailand in search of employment, and safety.

However, many of the people that fled to Thailand, have done so without proper documentation, which poses a threat to national security.

Phiphat also noted that some Myanmar workers, whose employment contracts have ended, chose not to return due to the unrest in their home country.

Additionally, many migrant workers from various countries failed to renew their documents on time, rendering them illegal. To address these challenges, the committee has agreed to support migrant workers by registering illegal workers from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

The committee is also considering extending the work permits of two million migrant workers whose permits are set to expire on February 13, 2025. These workers would receive a two-year extension through a memorandum of understanding.

Furthermore, the committee proposes an amendment to the law on seasonal migrant workers to support local Thai farmers during longer growing seasons, when labour shortages arise.

This amendment aims to increase the number of zones where migrant workers can temporarily work, extend the permission period from three months to six, and include shopkeeping in the list of jobs allowed for temporary employment.

Chief of the Department of Employment (DoE), Somchai Morakotsriwan stated that the department plans to submit the proposal to the cabinet soon, adding that workers with illegal status would receive deferments following cabinet approval, reported Bangkok Post.

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Author: Ryan Turner