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Harsher labour law penalties hit Phuket employers, foreigners

PHUKET: The Chief of the Phuket Employment Office (PEO) has cautioned foreigners and employers to be aware of a raft of new penalties for breaches of labour law introduced on Friday.

By Shela Riva

Tuesday 27 June 2017, 05:52PM

The warning follows the newly issued “Emergency Decree” on “Management Immigrant Work” dated June 17, which came into effect on Friday (June 23). (See original document in Thai here.)

“To all employers and foreign employees, please be careful, because some of these new penalties are very harsh,” PEO Chief Pitool Dumsakorn told The Phuket News today (June 27).

“For example, deceiving that one can bring a foreigner to work without a work permit can incur a fine from B600,000 up to B1 million and from three to 10 years in prison, or both, for each foreign worker deceived,” he said.

The Emergency Decree is comprised of 33 provisions, but Chief Pitool stressed that foreigners and employers need to be aware that the penalties for eight breaches of the law in particular have been increased.

The eight provisions are highlighted in a Thai-language leaflet currently issued by the Department of Employment, and now available at the POE. (See leaflet in Thai here.)

Mr Pitool noted that the most important provision was No 1 on the leaflet, which states: “If an employer employs a foreigner to work at a foreigner-forbidden position, the employer is fined with B400,000- 800,000 per employed foreigner.”

“This one is important because it is probably the most common one,” Mr Pitool said.

“Number six is also important, because not a many people know that it is wrong to keep a foreigner’s work permit,” he added.

BIS Phuket

Rule 6 on the leaflet states: “If a person withholds a work permit or other documents belonging to a foreigner, he/she will be imprisoned not more than 6 months or fined not more than B100,000, or both.”

The other five provisions highlighted by the leaflet are:

• If a foreigner works in excess of the work as described in the work permit, the foreigner may be fined up to B100,000.

• If an employer allows a foreigner to work in excess of the work described in the work permit, the employer may be fined up to B400,000 per foreigner employed.

• If a foreigner works without a work permit or works in a position prohibited to foreigners, the foreigner may be fined B2,000-100,000, or imprisoned up to five years, or both.

• If a foreigner works on an urgent and essential nature without approval from a labour officer, he/she may be fined up B20,000-B100,000.

• Any person operating as a job agency for foreigners without a license may be fined B200,000-600,000, or imprisoned for one to three years, or both.

For more information about the new provisions, call the Department of Employment hotline at 1694 (Thai language only).



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CaptainJack69 | 29 June 2017 - 12:15:49

@ematt: Victims of human trafficking can't pay a 1000 B fine, never mind a 1,000,000 B one. Meantime those who 'employ' them are never caught regardless of how big the fines are, because the whole system is flawed and corrupt. Simply increasing the fines wont change anything.

No, these 'new measures' are aimed squarely at 'rich foreigners' (and generating inco...

ematt | 28 June 2017 - 19:42:33

Looks like none of the posters here have ever heard of human trafficking. 

Kurt | 28 June 2017 - 15:45:24

Thinking about it: Now AEC becomes more important when it comes to let/give Member's workers have entrance to the labor market. Right?
Should it not a join venture of the AEC countries to adjust labor laws more AEC internationally?
That would work out for Thailand very different from what I read in this article.
What justifies this Thai 'Emergency Degree'?
Are there that many forei...

Pauly44 | 28 June 2017 - 14:42:47

Discover Thainess; That was the first thing that came to mind when I read the story, Thailand's increasing apparent Xenophobia towards foreigners, news flash for them though, their country aint that good, it will get to a point where it won't be worth the trouble.

Kurt | 28 June 2017 - 12:45:22

Wow, harsh punishments! That is different cake than 500 thb for not wearing helmet on motorbike.
Difficult risky financial times coming up for thai massage parlor owners who employ illegal foreign massage ladies.

And the fine for the illegal working foreign ladies? 
Well, from a frock you can not pluck feathers.

Discover Thainess | 28 June 2017 - 11:18:23

Everyone who wants to work should of course work legally. No question about that. It's already incredibly hard to get paperwork all correct and in order, and with constantly changing goal posts it's difficult to maintain it every year. If people are working illegally they should be caught and punished. This does rather smack of xenophobia though, when a 23 year old thai lady kills 3 people...

Pauly44 | 27 June 2017 - 21:07:05

Ah yes, more reasons to feel welcome in Thailand, message to foreigner, leave your money on the way out, get the message now!

ericphuket | 27 June 2017 - 20:52:08

Its a good one, I pay already 12 years every year a huge amount for my workpermit and visa and I know many foreigners who work here without workpermit for years, lets find them and act according the law, in europe you also have to follow laws why not here?

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