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Phuket Labor welfare chief warns against minimum wage cheats

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The chief of the Phuket Provincial Labor Protection and Welfare Office has warned employers that his office is inspecting businesses across the island and is prepared to take legal action against any firms found paying less than the 300 baht a day minimum wage.

Phuket Labor Welfare chief Kittipong Laonipon explained to the Gazette that his concerns about minimum wage cheats were raised when investigating the welfare of women and minors in the workplace.

“Generally, there are no serious concerns about the safety and security of women and minors working in Phuket. We found no evidence and received no reports of any women or children [sic] being abused,” he said.

“We did find several minors aged between 15 and 18 years old serving alcohol in a restaurant in Phuket Town. That issue has now been resolved and the minors are now performing duties that do not include serving alcohol,” Mr Kittipong explained.

“However, we did find that some employers did not want to pay minors the minimum wage for a day’s work, as required by law,” he added.

“Children older than 15 and under 18 are allowed to work, but they must not be involved in any dangerous occupation or heavy work and they must be paid 300 baht per day just like adults,” Mr Kittipong said.

The discovery sparked a campaign by his office from April through August, when 120 businesses in Phuket were inspected for minimum wage compliance.

“Of the 120 businesses inspected, two employers were found paying a total of 51 employees less than 300 baht a day.

“We issued the employers a warning, giving them 30 days to amend their practices and to start paying the minimum wage. We have since returned to check on those two employers and they are now complying with the law,” Mr Kittipong said.

“If they had continued not paying the minimum wage we would have filed a police complaint against them. If found guilty, the employers would face a sentence of up to six months in jail or a fine of up to 100,000 baht – or both.

“We will continue to inspect businesses across the island to make sure they are complying with the law. If we find any employers not paying the minimum wage we will take the same action against them,” he warned.

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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