Workers in Thailand To Receive New Year Minimum Wage Hike

Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has promised to raise the minimum wage to a suitable level in the upcoming year. However, the benchmark of 400 baht per day won’t be implemented to all sectors, as some, including tourism, already exceed this amount.

Mr. Phiphat conveyed that the ministry is in the process of analyzing and consulting on an appropriate rate with stakeholders, encompassing the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Instead of settling on a static rate of 400 baht, he mentioned that adjustments will be made considering inflation, cost of living, regional, and sectoral variables.

The analysis is scheduled to conclude in November, and a revised minimum wage is planned to be unveiled as a New Year’s present for the workers from January next year, Mr. Phiphat stated.

Given that the wage increase would be inclusive of workers of every nationality, the ministry intends to concentrate on enhancing the skills of Thai workers to align with employer needs, particularly in jobs designated for Thai citizens, he explained.

Those who undergo retraining are assured a daily wage that is no less than 400 baht, articulated Mr. Phiphat, who formerly served as the tourism minister.

He stated that the tourism sector wouldn’t be as impacted by a 400-baht benchmark as other sectors would be, since numerous tourism businesses compensate skilled employees at a rate surpassing the established baseline.

The tourism sector is currently experiencing a deficit of approximately one million workers, around 25% less than the 2019 figures, Mr. Phiphat acknowledged.

The ministry’s strategy will primarily involve enticing graduates proficient in foreign languages, like English, to join the tourism sector through the provision of concise training sessions, he added.

This approach takes precedence over bringing in international workers to Thailand, as some companies have suggested, Mr. Phiphat explained.

The Skill Development Department has successfully trained over 280,000 individuals in the tourism sector this year, with the goal to enhance the skills of at least 400,000 tourism workers by 2024.

Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, the head of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, speculated that the free-visa scheme for Chinese and Kazakh tourists might not result in a sudden surge of extensive tour groups.

He observed that tour agencies are currently operating with a workforce that is half the size of what it was in 2019.

The gradual return of tour groups will facilitate a steady reemployment process for tour companies, enabling them to handle a greater influx of tourists when the demand intensifies next year, Mr. Sisdivachr projected.

Besides implementing a rise in the minimum wage, he suggested that the government should also contemplate reducing operational costs for providers.