The Thai Cabinet approved an extension for over 200,000 migrant workers’ employment contracts, allowing them to retain their jobs until the new government assumes office, according to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam. The decision impacts workers from Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, and comes after an initial rejection of the Labour Ministry’s request for an extension. The change of heart was prompted by concerns that the ongoing uncertainty over the government’s formation could result in a significant labour shortage.
Wissanu stated that without the extension, migrant workers would need to return to their home countries and wait for the new government to take power before resuming their jobs in Thailand. However, he emphasised that the contract extension would only last for as long as the current government remains in its caretaking capacity, with the measure subject to review once the government is replaced. The deputy prime minister said…
“The employment extension does not require endorsement from the Election Commission (EC) as it does not involve the spending of state money.”
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri added that the Cabinet’s approval was intended to reinforce economic security, reported Bangkok Post.
The extension applies to migrant workers covered by the labour-related memorandum of understanding (MoU) that the Thai government has signed with the workers’ native countries. The employment period can last up to four years, with the extension approved by the cabinet set to expire on July 31.
In the meantime, Wissanu noted that if the current government remains in a caretaker role beyond October 1, the constitution allows it to use state funds allocated to various ministries until the new government takes over and the new central budget begins. October 1 marks the start of the new fiscal year.
Spending state funds amounting to less than 100 million baht is permissible without obtaining prior approval from the EC, and any long-term financial obligation is carried over to the next government.
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