General & Misc

Thai Government to reduce Penalties for Foreign Workers

Date: 13 March 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: Myanmar Times

The Thai government will reduce penalties for foreign workers after both employers and employees admitted to difficulties in complying with amendments to labour laws which enforce harsh penalties for migrant workers and were enforced for only a month last year.

“Both employers and employees have to confront many difficulties to develop and run their business because of harsh penalties,” U Aung Myo Thant, migrant activist lawyer said.

“The Thai government has suspended their implementation of the amended labor laws and now will use the latest laws which reduced the penalties,” he said.

According to migrant activists, the Thai government reduced the penalties for employers who hire illegal foreign labour from a fine of between 400,000 baht (US$12,772)  and  800,000 baht to between 10,000 baht and 100,000 baht.

The migrant activists said Bangkok also reduced the imprisonment penalties from 5 years to one year for foreign illegal workers working without permits.

“Thailand reduced the harsh penalties again because of the requests by employers” U Aung Myo Thant said.

The Thai government amended its labour laws to include extreme fines and prison sentences for both employers and illegal foreign workers on June 20, 2017, despite objections from employers and labor rights groups.

More than 150,000 Myanmar migrant workers who have no documents returned home from Thailand between June 29 and November 27 last year, after the Kingdom enacted the amended foreign labour laws, according to the Myanmar Ministry of Home Affairs.

Myanmar Embassy officials in Thailand said that they have not received an official statement about the reduction of penalties for labour law infractions but that they have been informed that the Thai government plans to reduce the penalties in its foreign labour laws.

Thailand suspended enforcement of the amended foreign labour laws a month after they were issued in June last year.

Myanmar embassy official said that all Myanmar workers who could not apply for Certificates of Identity (CI) before March 31 can do so through the two mobile CI issuing stations in southern Thailand, which will be activated soon.

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