The Thai government has approved new minimum wage rates, raising wages by 2-16 baht a day, depending on the province.

Thailand’s cabinet-approved new minimum wage rates in the kingdom will come into effect on 1 January 2024, according to the state news agency National News of Thailand.

The news agency said that the decision to raise the minimum wage comes after thorough discussions and calculations conducted by the Wage Board and the Wage Committee to adjust the rates fairly.

The new minimum wage rates are divided into 17 groups, reflecting differences in the cost of living and economic conditions in the kingdom’s provinces.

The first group includes only the tourist province of Phuket, which has a new minimum daily rate of 370 baht (up from 354 baht).

The second group includes Bangkok, Nakhonpathom, Nonthaburi, Pathumthani, Samutprakan and Samutsakhon. The new minimum wage rate is 363 baht (up from 353 baht).

The third group includes Chonburi and Rayong provinces, which have a new minimum wage rate of 361 baht (up from 354 baht).

Provinces with the national minimum daily wage rate are included in the last, seventeenth group, comprising the southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala, where the new daily wage rate is set at 330 baht (up from 328 baht).

The adjustment of the minimum wage is seen as a carefully calculated measure to improve the living conditions of workers without adversely affecting the economy.

The government believes that raising the minimum wage will allow workers to earn a fair income without exacerbating inflation or affecting product prices,” the agency said.

In a press statement, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Settha Thavisin recognised the need for regular wage reviews. The Prime Minister announced plans to meet on 17 January to set up a sub-committee to clarify the formula for calculating the minimum wage.

The aim is to present a comprehensive plan to the Cabinet by March to ensure that wage rates are in line with the specific needs of each district and profession.

The prime minister emphasised that the government is focused on improving employees’ quality of life in the country. The upcoming changes will help create a just and prosperous society and will be a major step towards enhancing economic stability in the country.

Thailand has a 6-day working week. According to the Labour Protection Act, employees work no more than eight hours a day. The employer may increase the number of working hours only by mutual agreement with the employee. And if the amount of time the employee spends at the workplace does not exceed 48 hours per week.

In the case of work in harmful or hazardous conditions, the working hours are reduced to seven hours per day and 42 hours per week, respectively.

Thus, with 24 working days per month, the minimum monthly wage in Phuket is 8,880 baht. In the south of Thailand, in the provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala, the minimum wage is 7,920 baht per month.

Under Thailand’s labour laws, labour is paid only in money. Wages are not lower than the minimum wage rate. If an employee spends more than eight hours a day at the workplace, overtime is paid at one and a half times the standard hourly rate.

When an employee works on weekends or public holidays, the salary for that time must be double the standard rate. If an employee has to stay at the workplace for more than eight hours on a weekend or public holiday, the employer must pay overtime that is three times the standard hourly rate.

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