The cabinet has approved a proposal to allow four groups of migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to legally stay and work in the country until July 27 next year, in order to allow them to sort out their employment status and work permits as required by a previous order.
Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin, said the decision was reached at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
The government had previously resolved to allow migrant workers from these countries to temporarily stay and work in the country through three prior cabinet resolutions — dated Aug 20, 2019; Aug 4, 2020; and Nov 10, 2020.
There are also many migrant workers whose work permits expired after they failed to find a new employer within 30 days as required by law, after leaving or losing their previous jobs.
Their permit extensions, however, are due to lapse soon, and with borders still closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of these migrant workers risked becoming illegal if no action was taken.
As a result, on Jan 26, the government decided to grant them another extension, which allows the migrants to stay until between July 31 and Sept 6, depending on the expiry date of their work permit.
However, with the pandemic still showing no signs of easing, the migrants are now again at risk of losing their status as legal migrants in Thailand.
As such, Mr Suchart said, the government decided to allow migrant workers from these countries to stay and work until July 27 next year, to allow them to sort out their employment status and register for a work permit.
In addition, migrant workers from these countries who have lost their jobs due to the economic downturn brought on by Covid-19 restrictions will now have 60 days to find a new job and register with labour authorities, said Pairoj Chotikasatien, director-general of the Department of Employment.
The government is trying to take good care of these workers to ensure their safety and good health, which is necessary for ensuring Thailand’s public health in general as well, said Mr Suchart.