Harsher labour law penalties hit Phuket employers, foreigners

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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.


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.

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).

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on June 27, 2017 by Shela Riva

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