Executives from more than 60 Pattaya-area hotels were brought up to speed on the Thai minimum wage increase set to take effect April 1.
The March 20 seminar organized by the Pattaya Personnel Club featured bureaucrats form the Chonburi Department of Labor Protection and Welfare and Chonburi Institute of Skills Development. They reviewed what businesses are subject to the increase, which will rise to 273 baht per day in Pattaya. This eventually will increase to 300 baht a day.
(L to R) Labor expert Suwanna Khantivisit; labor expert / scholar Anchalee Jaidee; Mongkol Janthana, vice president of the Pattaya Personnel Club; Amnuay Wongudommongkol, labor development expert; and Phatchara Khunrattachot, head of business training and special training at the Institute of Skills Development Region 3.
Businesses managers wanted clarifications on how tips and non-monetary compensation allows employers to pay less than the minimum wage in cash.
Despite rumors that employers will soon be able to pay wages out of the service charges that appear on bills in hotels, restaurants and other service businesses, labor expert / scholar Anchalee Jaidee said that this just isn’t true.
“Money obtained from service charges cannot be included in the minimum wage given to employees,” she said. “Further, any extra money, for instance tips, or benefits employees receive at their jobs also cannot be used to make up the minimum wage.”
Anchalee said businesses must start paying no less than the new minimum wage beginning April 1, and said they can increase or reduce employee benefits to suit each company’s expenses.
This means that if managers choose, they do not need to give any of the collected service charges to their employees, since there is no law stating they should do so. In the past, employers have negotiated with employees, often keeping 60 percent or more of the service charge and giving only 40 percent or less to the employees, spread throughout the entire staff, from busboys to chefs.
The labor department also invited attendees to join in a project to prevent and suppress health- and drug-related problems in the workplace.
Speakers also reviewed labor force development as it relates to the wage increase, saying it gave an incentive for businesses to better train their workers and cultivate a positive attitude. The department will offer free training courses for up to 30 people. Contact the Institute of Skills of Development Region 3 for more information at 038-276-824.