Labour Minister Reports Results of Policies on Managing Foreign Workers to Support the Country’s Revival After COVID-19

The Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin presided over the announcement of the operating results and policy direction for managing foreign workers. The Permanent Secretary of Labour, Mr. Boonchob Suttamanaswon, reported the event’s objectives. The Ministry of Labour’s executives, association representatives, organizations, civil society/employers, and related agencies also participated in the event, which took place at the Ministry of Labour’s meeting room, 5th floor, Ministry of Labour.


Mr. Suchart said that during the COVID-19 situation, the Ministry of Labour followed the Cabinet’s resolution on April 7, 2020, to manage the COVID-19 situation as a national agenda while the situation was ongoing and after the situation had subsided. The policies aimed to urgently restore the country in various dimensions, with the Ministry of Labour continuously managing foreigners’ work, including foreign workers, for economic and social development. The Ministry of Labour has continuously managed the work of migrants, especially Cambodian, Laotian, and Myanmar nationals, to be able to stay and work temporarily. The measures include 1) Implementing the Cabinet’s Resolution on December 29, 2020. 2) Implementing the Cabinet’s Resolution on July 13, 2021, and 3) Implementing the Cabinet’s Resolution on September 28, 2021. With the management, when foreign workers complete the specified process, they will be allowed to stay in the Kingdom and work until February 13, 2023. A total of 1,696,638 people fall into this group. The efforts aim to resolve labour shortages and allow employers/establishments to employ foreigners legally, allowing them to stay in the Kingdom to work legally and be protected by the law. Therefore, without proper management, after February 13, 2023, it would cause unpredictable negative effects on the manufacturing and business sectors. It is necessary to have measures to support employers/establishments and the manufacturing sector, to employ such foreigners who wish to work can stay in the Kingdom further.


Mr. Suchart continued that the Ministry of Labour has proposed measures for managing foreign workers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam to support the country’s revival after the relaxation of preventive and control measures against COVID-19. A proposal was made to the Cabinet for consideration and approved on July 5, 2022. The essence of the proposals is 1) Management of foreign workers with valid status comprising foreigners from the three countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. They have been allowed to stay in the Kingdom and work until February 13, 2023. Over 1.6 million people will be allowed to stay in the Kingdom and work until February 13, 2025, and 2) The management of foreign workers from the four countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam, whose status is not legal, such as their permission to stay in the Kingdom and work has been terminated a result of the law, illegal migration, or their permission to stay in the Kingdom has ended, but they have not traveled out of the Kingdom (overstay). For workers who worked with an employer before July 5, 2022, employers/establishments could submit a name list of foreign workers through the online system between August 1 – 15, 2022. A total of 731,332 names were submitted, comprising 172,553 people in Bangkok and 558,779 people in other provinces. Upon completing the prescribed guidelines, the workers will be permitted to stay in the Kingdom and work until February 13, 2023. If such foreigners wish to continue working, they will be allowed to stay in the Kingdom and work for one year at a time, no later than February 13, 2025. Bringing foreigners to work with employers in the country under the MOU started on December 1, 2021. Between December 1, 2021 – September 9, 2022, 13,019 applications were submitted for bringing foreigners to work in the country, totaling 330,106 applicants (73,031 from Cambodia, 36,899 from Laos, and 220,175 from Myanmar). A total of 11,516 applications were approved for 315,804 foreign workers (69,558 from Cambodia, 32,967 from Laos, and 213,279 from Myanmar). A total of 69,356 foreign workers have already traveled to Thailand (17,465 from Cambodia, 9,108 from Laos, and 42,783 from Myanmar).


“From the implementation of these measures, the Ministry of Labour has managed the work of foreigners to ensure that employers/establishments have sufficient workers to drive the country’s business and economic growth, in line with government policy. In the future, the Ministry of Labour is committed to improving the efficiency and quality of work services for migrants, such as reducing the processes, time, and use of documents. It aims to integrate data links between government agencies and apply digital technology to provide such services to increase the country’s competitiveness. The Ministry of Labour will manage the work of foreigners to their full capacity with integrity, ensuring the country’s common interests are met. Foreign workers can stay in the Kingdom and work properly, with the protection and privileges required by law,” concluded Mr. Suchart.


Source: Ministry of Labour