Thai Labour Minister pledges tailored minimum wage hike

Photo: Freepik.

Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has committed to increasing the minimum wage to a suitable level in the upcoming year. However, a standard daily rate of 400 baht will not be uniformly applied across all sectors. Some industries, like tourism, currently exceed this proposed baseline.

The ministry, in conjunction with employers and employee representatives such as the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Chamber of Commerce, is collectively analysing an appropriate minimum wage rate.

The revised level will consider factors such as inflation rate, cost of living, and variations between provinces and different industries rather than setting a uniform 400 baht rate.

The minimum wage study is projected to conclude in November, with the announcement of the new minimum wage expected to be a New Year’s present for employees, starting January of the following year, according to Phiphat.

The impending minimum wage increase will be applicable to all workers, irrespective of their nationality. Consequently, the ministry plans to concentrate on enhancing the skills of Thai employees to meet employer requirements, particularly for job roles earmarked for Thai nationals.

These upskilled workers have assured a minimum daily wage of at least 400 baht, Phiphat, who formerly held the position of tourism minister, stated.

Thai Labour Minister pledges tailored minimum wage hike | News by Thaiger
Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Labour Minister/

Phiphat asserted that a baseline of 400 baht would not significantly impact the tourism industry as this sector often pays skilled workers above the proposed minimum wage. He highlighted a current shortage of approximately one million employees in the tourism industry, nearly 25% lower than the 2019 figures.

Ministry’s Strategy

The ministry’s strategy includes attracting local graduates possessing foreign language skills, such as English, through short training programmes. This approach takes precedence over the importation of foreign workers into Thailand, despite some businesses requesting this action, Phiphat added.

The Skill Development Department has already trained over 280,000 tourism industry workers in the current year. The department aims to upskill and reskill a minimum of 400,000 workers in the tourism sector by next year.

Visa-Free Scheme

Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, the president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, expressed that the visa-free scheme for Chinese and Kazakh tourists might not immediately result in a significant increase in large tour groups. He pointed out that tour operators are currently operating with only half the number of employees compared to 2019.

The gradual return of tour groups will allow tour companies to slowly increase employment levels, eventually accommodating a larger number of tourists when the flow strengthens next year, Sisdivachr explained.

In addition to the minimum wage increase, he suggested the government should also consider reducing costs for operators, reported Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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