Thai Labour Ministry considers raising minimum wage as Songkran gift

The Labour Ministry, headed by Pipat Ratchakitprakarn, is considering raising the minimum wage for certain professions as a Songkran festival gift. The announcement is expected to take place within a year, covering the entire country.

Additionally, the Cabinet is looking into providing a full monthly salary for maternity leave of 98 days. This was discussed at a meeting of the House of Representatives today at 10.30am, chaired by Wan Muhammad Noor Matha, the House Speaker.

The meeting revolved around a query from Sahasawat Khumkong, a Far Away Party MP from Chon Buri, about the criteria used for calculating minimum wages and the political interference that has historically plagued wage adjustments. Sahatsawat also questioned the relevance of the tripartite committee and whether it should be scrapped if it holds no real power.

Furthermore, he urged the government to consider a minimum wage that would support a quality life for families, in line with its pro-natal policies.

Pipat explained that the current method of calculating minimum wages has been in use for 20-30 years. He admitted that wages cannot be raised beyond a certain limit. However, a key committee is being established and will be appointed on January 17.

“This committee, comprising state representatives, academics, and five representatives each from the employee and employer sectors, will study the current situation and devise a formula for calculating the minimum wage.”

Songkran gift

Pipat anticipated that the new minimum wage would be announced as a Songkran gift in certain regions, for certain professions and industries. It is expected that it will take a year to announce a countrywide minimum wage in 2025. He assured that the tripartite committee’s members are elected by the employees and employers themselves, and the Labour Ministry cannot interfere in this process.

Pipat added that past issues should be left behind, not to evade responsibility, but because they cannot be rectified. Going forward, he will consult with board presidents and academic consultants from various universities. However, he will not be consulting with employers or employees.

He will share his opinions with the committee’s consultants regarding what should be done. The focus will be on industries driving the economy, while professions that do not have a minimum wage will have wage rates set according to their capabilities. For instance, the high wage rate in the three southern provinces might deter investors due to the risk involved.

As for parental wages, Pipat is preparing to propose to the Cabinet to consider paying full wages for 98 days of maternity leave. The employer will subsidise 49 days of the salary, and the Social Security Office will pay for the remaining 49 days, ensuring a full salary during maternity leave, reported KhaoSod.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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