Foreign workers granted permits to work except in 40 prohibited occupations
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Foreign workers granted permits to work except in 40 prohibited occupations

The Labour Minister reaffirmed that in compliance with the cabinet resolution on 29 December 2020, three foreign labour nationals holding work permits and residency visas are allowed to proceed with work similar to foreign workers who are granted occupations by MoU agreement.

Labour Minister Suchat Chomklin revealed: “The government under the direction of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha focuses on management of foreign labour of three nationals, namely Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. These workers are seen as dynamic in driving productivity, agriculture, and services in several sectors. To prevent labour shortages as well as control virus spread in compliance with measures launched by the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), along with preserving human rights, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) takes responsibility for monitoring, controlling, and managing foreign workers working in Thailand to proceed in accordance with the laws and regulations.”   

The announcement on foreign labour work permits by the MOL facilitates foreign workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar during the Covid-19 pandemic in accordance with the cabinet resolution on 29 December 2020. The resolution states clearly that foreign workers given work permits according to the announcement are eligible to work in all categories except occupations forbidden to foreigners residing in the kingdom of Thailand. These are also applied to foreigners who are granted work permits according to immigration laws and MoUs between the Thai government and foreign governments. Labour workers and shop/outlet attendance proceed in accordance with the Department of Employment announcement on foreign workers recruitment conditions. Should the foreign workers resign from work, they are required to inform their new employers within 30 days of the termination from the former employers.  

Department of Employment (DOE), Director-general Suchat Pornchaiwisetakul, explained that professions prohibited to migrant workers comprise 40 occupations. These are categorised as 27 occupations prohibited for foreigners and 13 occupations permitted for foreigners subject to conditions. Occupations for foreign workers are divided into four accounts as follows:

Account 1 (27 occupations): 1. Wood carving 2. Motor vehicle driving except for forklifts 3. Selling by means of auction 4. Gemstone cutting 5. Haircutting or beauty salon 6. Hand-weaving of clothes  7. Mat weaving or utensil making from reeds, rattan, straw, bamboo, chicken feathers, fibre, etc. 8. Handmade mulberry paper 9. Lacquerware making 10. Thai musical instrument making 11. Nielloware making 12. Gold ornaments, silverware or copper alloy making 13.  Stone-polished metal bowl making 14. Thai doll making 15. Alms bowl making 16. Hand making of silk products 17. Buddha image making 18. Paper or cloth umbrella making 19. Brokerage or agency work 20. Thai massage service 21. Cigarette rolling 22. Tour guide 23. Street vending 24. Typesetting 25. Silk reeling and twisting 26. Secretarial work, and 27. Legal service

Account 2 (3 occupations): Occupations permitted for foreigners with conditions according to the MoU made between each country or the commitment Thailand abides under legal regulations, including  Accounting, Civil Engineering, and Architecture professions. 

Account 3 (8 occupations): Occupations permitted for foreign workers to proceed with skilled and semi-skilled labour works, including 1. Agriculture 2. Bricklaying, carpentry and other construction work 3. Mattress making 4. Knife making 5. Shoe making 6. Hat making 7. Body accessory making 8. Pottery or ceramic ware making.

Account 4 (2 occupations): Occupations permitted for foreign workers to proceed with conditions for which workers are granted work permits and resident visas in accordance with Immigration laws or MoUs made between countries, including labour work and shop/outlet attendance.

Employers and organisations are required to strictly act in compliance with the legal regulations. If any violation of the laws is found, the employer hiring the foreigner without work permit or allowing the foreigner to work beyond their lawful rights will be fined 10,000-100,000 baht per illegal foreign worker. 

Repetition of violations of the law is subject to sentencing to 1 year imprisonment or being fined 50,000-200,000 baht or both. Such employers are prohibited from hiring foreign workers for 3 years and the foreign worker without work permit or working beyond their lawful rights will be fined 5,000-50,000 baht and be deported to their country of origin. 

For more information please contact provincial employment offices, Bangkok area employment offices 1-10, or Line @Service Workpermit, MOL hotline 1506 press 2, or DOE hotline 1694 where translations of information and instructions are available in Khmer, Myanmar, and English.

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