PHUKET: Phuket’s lowest-paid workers could be in line to receive a New Year present – of an increase in the minimum wage of five baht a day.
The Chief of the Provincial Labor Protection and Welfare Office, Patom Phetmanee, told the Gazette today it was likely that the minimum wage in Phuket will rise on January 1, from 168 baht a day to173 baht.
K. Patom said, “While Phuket’s current minimum wage is 168 baht a day, in Bangkok it is 170 baht, but the Ministry of Labor is now considering our request to increase the minimum wage here by five baht.”
The Labor Ministry has already approved a five-baht-a-day increase in the minimum wage in Bangkok, to 175 baht a day, effective from January 1. If the Phuket increase is approved the province will have the second-highest minimum wage in the country, after the capital.
It is currently an employee’s rather than an employer’s market in Phuket, according to Penchan Boonhok, the Director of the Phuket Department of Employment.
Figures suggest that around 2,000 people a month are leaving their jobs, so confident are they of being able to find new ones.
“By contrast, though,” said K. Penchan, “employers currently have around 1,000 vacancies, and demand for staff is only going to increase because of new businesses such as hotels, spas and shopping centers, such as Jungceylon [in Patong].”
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