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Migrant workers to be granted 2-year work permit and health insurance

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Prachachat

Undocumented migrant workers from 3 countries will be able to register for legal employment allowing a 2-year stay. The Cabinet approved the measure in an effort to control the spread of Covid-19 after an outbreak at a Samut Sakhon seafood market affecting a large migrant community who worked around the fishing hub.

Migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar will be able to register with the Labour Ministry’s Department of Employment starting on January 15 until February 13. The workers must go through a health screening before submitting a work permit application. The workers and their children will receive health insurance for 2 years.

The workers must submit work permit applications before September 13. They must register as non-Thai nationals by November 12. Migrants or their employers must pay 7,200 baht to cover the health screening and 2-year health insurance. Undocumented migrants who do not have an employer must find a job within 90 days.

The outbreak in Samut Sakhon infecting hundreds of migrant workers shed light on labour trafficking and undocumented employment. The Royal Thai Army recently said they can’t stop border breaches and police have now shifted their focus from catching migrants entering illegally to cracking down on labour traffickers.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand| Bangkok Post

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Frank Leboeuf

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Great news!
    Thai government will have more control over the foreign worker population, and workers will have access to more security as officially registered workers with a work permit and health insurance.

    Way to go Thailand – this really made my day!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 2:29 pm

      Agreed, Frank, great news.

      The September / November 2021 dates, taken from the Nation, don’t seem to make any sense as registration is very clearly widely reported (including here and by the Nation) as January / February.

  2. Avatar

    Keith

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    Yes reward the illegal immigrants, while anyone else entering illegally or overstaying their visa are fined and deported, but then those people don’t help make the 1% who own most of Thailand any richer, the HI SO rich people run Thailand not the government, when they say jump Prayut the puppet asks “how high”

    • Avatar

      Robert Elliot

      Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 10:07 pm

      Yes. There are 2 ways to look at this. Who is really benefitting the most. The wealthy Thais securing very cheap labour or the migrant labourers.

      • Avatar

        John Landy

        Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 5:52 pm

        In this case clearly the migrant labourers, since the wealthy securing cheap labour would have done so anyway.
        Migrant labourers are gaining legal status, a work permit and health coverage.
        The Thai government is gaining more control over these migrant population as well, which is what governments always strive for.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 6:38 pm

        Both.

  3. Avatar

    Just A Thought

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    I would expect these workers to not be particularly highly paid.
    For foreigners to live here for a year they are expected to have 800,000 baht income (yes I know their are other amounts but this will do to illustrate my point). All of which will, most likely, be spent into the economy with a VAT rate of 7% thereby contributing approx. 56,000 baht directly into government confers with the rest making up a considerable contribution into the general economy. As the foreigners individually contribute a lot more than these workers (who are working to take money out of the country) maybe the government should consider some form of health insurance incentive to promote a recovery in the “tourist” sector and ultimately in the economy.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    B7500 cost.
    Trust the Thais to dream up another money making racket.
    It’s a work tax!

  5. Avatar

    Ian

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    Is this the way in become a migrant worker get a 2 year visa and free health care yippee here we come lol

  6. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    Why can insurance cover in this sort of price range not be offered to tourists scaled down to reflect the relatively short period of time they are in the country?
    500 bht max sounds a very generous premium price to me.

  7. Avatar

    indis77

    Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Why would Thailand need foreign workers with the economy as bad as it is? Surely there are tons of unemployed Thais to take these jobs?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      Despite the absurd claims of over 6 million unemployed out of a workforce of 38 million, all too obviously, ‘NO’, there aren’t!

  8. Avatar

    TS

    Monday, January 4, 2021 at 11:34 am

    That type of work is considered beneath the average Thai. Same same as migrant farm workers in the U.S.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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