Labour Ministry Seeks Minimum Wage Increase Effective Oct 1

On Tuesday, Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said he wanted the daily minimum to be risen from October 1 instead of in early 2023, adding that he was seeking a 5-8% increase.

Speaking at Government House, Mr. Suchart argued that Thais needed better wages as the living cost had skyrocketed and denied that the plan to bring the pay rise forward was politically motivated.

Wage committees have already proposed new minimum salaries for their respective provinces, he stated, adding that top officials must finalize the increments.

“Increments will vary by 1-2 baht for some provinces. There will be 12 different rates for the daily minimum wage,” he went on. The minister clarified that they would not all be the same nor start simultaneously because all provinces have different GDPs.

Mr. Suchart said he had ordered the permanent labour secretary to finalize the details for the new wages this month, expecting to propose them to the cabinet in September.

The government did not change the wage for the past year because it had issues to solve, including finding ways to help people amid Covid-19 outbreaks and avoiding layoffs when the economy was affected by the global crisis.

However, he believes that “now is a good time and employers agree because they want to retain their employees.”

According to the minister, the salary increase would be 5% to 8%, depending on inflation and the current economic situation in each province.

Mr. Suchart insisted that the pay rise should start in Phuket, the capital, Bangkok, and the provinces of the Eastern Economic Corridor due to the high cost of living and what those places represent for the country’s production.

Meanwhile, labour officials have started talks with employer groups about the expected minimum wage increase beginning October 1, he added.

The minister denied that Thai authorities expect to take advantage of the earlier-than-expected increase in the minimum wage for political gain. It was previously planned for early next year.

Mr. Suchart argued that if the move had been politically motivated, the minimum wage would be raised to 491 baht per day as proposed by the workers’ organizations. Currently, the minimum wage ranges between 313 and 336 baht daily across the country.