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Government clarifies deferring foreign labour law

The Government Tuesday (July 4) clarified its decision to defer the enforcement of the foreign labour law to allow migrant workers time to prepare proper documents to return to work legitimately as well as to rotate migrant workers.

At a press conference, deputy prime minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Section 44 of the interim charter was invoked to defer the imposition of new penalties for employment of unregistered foreign workers until the end of this year.

He said enforcement of four articles of the foreign labour decree was put off for 180 days until Dec 31, 2017.

The 180-day grace period will enable foreign workers to rotate to manage their documentation to prevent the labour vacuum situation before the foreign labour management decree will be fully enforced on January 1, 2018.

In addition to that, Mr Wissanu said the Labour Ministry was designated to review the stiff penalties stated in the decree within four months.

But he stressed that it was important to implement the foreign labour law to prevent and suppress human trafficking.

PM reiterated need to have tough labour law to rid human trafficking

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha reiterated Thailand's commitment to the international communities to go ahead with the suppression of human trafficking although his government has eased the enforcement of some tough articles in the new labour law regarding migrant workers' employments.

Speaking to reporters after the military junta and the Cabinet gave approval to relaxing a six month grace period to enforce the law by invoking Section 44 of the interim Constitution on Tuesday (July 4), Gen Prayut emphasized that human trafficking issue was the important international problem.

He said his government has to solve human trafficking problem decisively as it is also relevant to the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) which could damage to the country's reputation.

He said if these problems are left unsolved, it would have impact on Thai economy as some countries would no longer buy Thai goods.

He said what would happen if goods were produced but there were no places to market.

Gen Prayut then stressed that the country must have the law to manage the labour issues although it could have strong impact to the people involved.

He called for cooperation from all people to abide by the law, while assuring that the process was not complicated.

Migrant workers who enter the country legally have to register and inform the authorities when they have changed their jobs.

Meanwhile foreign unregistered workers who did not have proper documents, they should go back to their countries to prepare the documents and come to work again, he said.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)