Deputy Prime Minister for Legal Affairs Wissanu Krea-ngam revealed that the Cabinet has given the green light to the proposed invocation of Section 44 of the interim charter to delay the enforcement of certain parts of the Royal Decree on the Management of Foreign Workers 2017. As a result, the effects of Sections 110, 102, 119 and 122, which carry harsher penalties against illegal alien workers, will be put on hold for 180 days or six months from June 23, 2017, when the law was adopted.
The suspension of the four sections is intended to allow illegal migrant workers in Thailand to travel to their home country to obtain necessary documents and return to the Kingdom to initiate the registration process without being arrested and prosecuted along the way.
During the six-month suspension period, the Ministry of Labor has been assigned to spend four months to review the content and punishment clauses in the royal decree for any possible adjustment. For the last two months, changes are to be resubmitted to the government for deliberation.
Labor Minister Gen Sirichai Distakul encouraged all employers who are illegally hiring foreign nationals to get them registered with any Employment Offices nationwide. He assured the employers that the ministry is improving the registration process so as to provide them with convenience.
Meanwhile, Department of Employment Director-General Varanon Peetiwan made known that there are currently 1.3 million foreign nationals who are legally employed in Thailand and another 1.3 million who have received the temporary work permit, or the pink card. As for illegal migrant workers, he said the number is estimated at around one million or less.