Govt revises migrant profession list

Govt revises migrant profession list

12 jobs taken out as Thai massage is added

The government has decided to remove 12 of the 39 jobs which migrant workers are banned from taking up to ease labour shortages.

Even as it announced this easing of the rules, the government moved to add Thai traditional massage to the list of professions off-limits to migrant workers.

From July 1, migrant workers will be banned from a total of 28 job types which are reserved for Thai nationals only, Labour Minister Adul Sangsingkeo said yesterday, after chairing a meeting of the government's committee on management of work for migrant workers.

The list of jobs which migrant workers are prohibited from doing in Thailand was announced under Section 7 of the 2017 executive decree on management of types of work for migrant workers, he said.

Under the latest update to the list, migrant workers are now allowed to work as unskilled labourers. However, only migrant workers from specific countries which have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thailand will be allowed to take up employment as unskilled labourers.

Other types of work which migrant workers are now allowed to take up, though with conditions, include farm jobs (except those requiring special expertise), construction work, bed and blanket making, knife making, shoe making, hat making, clothes making, pottery making, engineering, architecture and accounting, he said.

An important condition imposed on migrant workers is they must retain the status of employees, not be business operators or owners, he said. Foreign nationals seeking engineering, architecture or accounting jobs in Thailand will first have to be certified by the respective professional councils and obtain a proper licence, he said.

The 28 types of jobs which migrant workers are banned from doing in Thailand are wood carving; hand-weaving of clothes; producing handmade mats; producing handmade mulberry paper; and lacquerware making. Others are Thai musical instrument making; nielloware making; producing gold, silver or copper alloy ware and ornaments; making polished brassware; making Thai dolls; and making alms bowls (for Buddhist monks). Still others are producing handmade silk; making Buddha statues; making paper or cloth umbrellas; Thai typesetting; hand-reeling silk threads; driving; selling products at a shop; selling by means of an auction; gemstone engraving; working at a barber or a beauty salon; working as a trade and investment representative or broker (unless hired by an international organisation); hand-rolling cigarettes; working as a tour guide; mobile vending of goods; working as a secretary; providing legal counselling service; and providing Thai traditional massage service.

In shops, migrant workers are not permitted to work on their own as shop assistants serving customers or handle the store's finances. Also, they must be accompanied by their Thai employer, said Pol Gen Adul. This means that migrant workers will only be allowed to do certain types of work in shops such as checking stocks.

The government will spread word of the law for about a month. Authorities will begin clamping down on violations once the word is out, he said.

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