Daily wage hike won't be a sharp one

Daily wage hike won't be a sharp one

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin
Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin on Thursday assured the minimum daily wage will increase this year, although he said the hike won't be a sharp one in order to protect businesses which are still reeling from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The increase will be decided by a national tripartite committee on wages, which will take into account the increasing cost of living, he said.

As Mr Suchart addressed concerns about the ministry's budget proposal at the House of Representatives on Thursday, he explained the reason why the demand for a 48% increase is unlikely to be approved.

"Wage adjustments must be made as the economy recovers, but many businesses are still recovering from temporary closures during the pandemic," he said.

"Do you really think we could raise the wage? If you were me, would you dare?," he said.

The minimum daily wage was reviewed a year after the massive floods in 2012, but the rate was frozen between 2014-2015.

The minimum daily wage was last increased in January 2020, from 313 baht to 336 baht.

Mr Suchart said the new minimum daily wage, which would be decided by a national tripartite committee on wages, will take effect on Jan 1 next year.

Current minimum wages vary depending on the province. The highest is 336 baht per day in Chon Buri and Phuket, while the lowest is 331 baht in the three southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala.

Mr Suchart also dismissed claims that the government has failed to promote skill development in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). More than 6,000 people took part in the ministry's skill enhancement schemes last year and about 80% got jobs, he said.

He also said the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Thailand would also provide opportunities for Thai workers, before praising the employment prospect for new graduates.

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