Thailand government plans to raise minimum wage to 400 baht

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn unveiled yesterday that the Government of Thailand has assembled a series of fresh employment benefits set to be introduced on May 1, International Workers’ Day. The most notable of these is a proposal to elevate the minimum wage to 400 baht across the nation.

The new minimum wage rate of 400 baht has already received the green light from the tripartite wage committee, which comprises representatives from the government, employers and employees. Phiphat disclosed this as one of several unexpected presents that the government aims to finalise by May Day.

He added that another perk in the pipeline is the extension of a soft loan programme, currently available to freelance and self-employed workers, which is set to conclude next Tuesday.

Over one million workers have been offered loans under this scheme, and though there are still funds allocated for it, it is likely to be extended further. Phiphat noted that the loan is interest-free for the initial two years, with a modest interest rate of only 2% being applied from the third year onwards.

A potential May Day bonus could be the ratification of two International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions. Conventions No.87 and No.98 focus on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise and the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining, respectively.

These two ILO conventions are currently under review by the Labour Welfare and Protection tripartite panel, before moving on to the Cabinet, Council of State, House of Representatives and Senate for approval between June and September.

ILO conventions

Phiphat revealed that while the employer side of the tripartite committee largely opposes ILO Convention No.87, they support Convention No.98.

The committee, however, has in principle agreed to both ILO conventions. This is a positive shift that Phiphat, in his 30 years of advocating for their ratification, has not seen before. He voiced his support for the conventions.

“That’s a good start, isn’t it? I personally support both of them [ILO conventions].”

The labour minister also suggested that ILO conventions No.144 on Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) and No.155 on Occupational Safety and Health could offer more advantages for workers, reported Bangkok Post.

“These two ILO conventions are expected to be approved by the tripartite committee ahead of the ILO’s scheduled June 11 to 15 gathering in Geneva, Switzerland.”

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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