May 26, 2024

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Thailand raises minimum wage

Thailand raises minimum wage

Photo: epa-efe/Narong Sangnak

BANGKOK: A significant step forward for the working world in Thailand has been announced by the government on International Workers' Day, May 1, 2024. From October 1, 2024, the daily minimum wage across the country will be raised to 400 baht. The announcement was made by Home Minister Anudin Charnvirakul and Labor Minister Bipat Ratsakitprakarn during the May Day celebrations at Lan Khon Mueang Square in front of Bangkok City Hall.

Prime Minister Shretha Thavisin's government, which prioritized workers, responded directly to the demands of the labor movement, which called for improvements in social benefits and wages. “This wage increase is a clear sign of our commitment to workers and is in line with our economic policy,” Anudin explained, assuring an early improvement in workers' financial conditions.

As Pipot explained, the gradual implementation of wage increases aims to reduce the financial burden on companies so that small and medium enterprises in particular are not affected by the increase. In recent months, the Ministry of Labor has held intensive discussions with employers to reach a consensus that would allow them to implement a nationwide wage hike.

So far, the government has only raised minimum wages for certain professional groups in selected regions. The nationwide adjustment, now applicable from October, is a first. It represents a significant change in wage policy and is seen as a response to long-standing demands by labor representatives.

Pipot also announced that the government is considering raising the minimum wage to 600 baht by 2027. The promise was part of the election campaign plan of the ruling Pyu Thai Party and now appears to be gradually being implemented.

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The decision will be welcomed by workers across the country, but the economic implications for businesses and the resulting challenges will be a major topic of Thai political debate in the coming months.