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Work permit extensions mulled for migrant workers

The Phuket News, Thailand, 9 July 2019 - The Ministry of Labour will this month ask the cabinet to approve its proposal to extend work permits for migrant workers for another two years.

There are about two million eligible migrant labourers from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

The policy will save time and money for both labourers and employees, Sutthi Sukoson, permanent secretary for labour told reporters after a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, in his capacity as acting labour minister.

“Under this proposal, both migrant workers and their employers will find it more convenient when they contact the ministry’s one-stop service centres for the renewal of the workers’ work permits as these workers will no longer have to return home, as was required in the past,” said Mr Sutthi adding that the ministry will table the proposal to the cabinet sometime in the next two weeks.

It is hoped the new policy will come into force in time for workers in the fishery sector whose permits are due to expire between September and November of this year.

Apart from granting more years, the Ministry of Labour is developing an online platform for permit renewal, said Phetcharat Sin-ouy, director-general of the Department of Employment.

The system will allow workers to file documents and make appointment dates for renewing their permits.

Upon successfully registering for their work permit renewal, a migrant worker will be assigned a 13-digit ID, which will be connected to the government’s database of work permits granted to foreigners working in Thailand, she said.

That will help to make the work permit database more complete and labour authorities will be able to track these migrant workers more effectively in their task of ensuring they only do the specific types of work they are permitted to do, she said.

The online platform, she said, will also help labourers save money when renewing their permits. The Thailand Development Research Institute found that migrant workers were charged hundreds of baht by agents and employers just for filing documents and setting appointment dates.

Work permit extensions mulled for migrant workers


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