Phuket seeks highest minimum wage in Thailand

PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Labor Office has requested a daily minimum wage increase of nine baht for Phuket workers, which, if approved in full, would give the province the highest minimum wage rate in the country.

Labor committees in 70 of Thailand’s 76 provinces have submitted proposals to the Labor Department requesting minimum wage increases of between one and nine baht.

Phuket is asking for a nine-baht increase, which would raise the rate to 206 baht per day, the highest in Thailand.

The request follows the findings of an advisory panel appointed by the Phuket Labor Office that includes both government officials and business leaders.

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Bangkok, where the minimum wage is currently 203 baht, is asking for an increase of 2 baht.

Six provinces have not requested an increase: Chiang Rai, Sa Kaeo, Sukhothai, Petchaboon, Uthai Thani and Mae Hong Son.

All minimum wage increase requests require Cabinet approval to become law; often the rate approved is less than that requested.

Suttipong Saisakares, head of the Phuket Provincial Labor Office, said the province had requested the increase because the island’s economy had started to recover.

“Most of our employers pay their workers a high rate already, around 250-300 baht per day,” he said. “Even [legally registered] alien low-workers get paid more than 197 baht.”

“I don’t think we’re going to have a problem with employers,” he added.

Last year the province had not requested an increase, while the year before the wage rose 11 baht, he said.

Cabinet decisions on wage increase requests are usually announced early in the new year.

Minimum wage rates are currently highest in Bangkok and the surrounding provinces of Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakon, all of which have a rate of 203 baht per day.

In Chonburi and Saraburi it stands at 179 baht, while Phang Nga, Krabi and Petchaburi have rates of 168, 165 and 164 baht respectively.

The lowest rates in the country can be found in Phayao, Phichit, Phrae and Sisaket, where they are currently set at 150 baht.

— Kitima Pornmongkhonwat

Phuket News
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