The Cabinet has granted approval for an extension of employment contracts that will allow more than 200,000 migrant workers to retain their jobs, alleviating concerns over a domestic labor shortage.
The decision addresses management issues related to foreign workers and eases financial pressure on employers and employees. Industries that require intensive labor or involve dangerous and difficult tasks are expected to benefit from the extension.
Thai Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Poj Aramwattananont highlighted the significance of human capital development for the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery. He pointed out that Thailand is facing structural problems with severe shortages in both the quantity and quality of labor, particularly in sectors such as tourism, services, construction, real estate, food processing, and small businesses.
The approved extension allows migrant workers who arrived under labor-related MoUs signed by governments to continue working in Thailand until July 2023. However, the contract extension is valid only during the caretaker capacity of the current government and will be subject to review once a new administration is formed.
The cabinet initially rejected the request for an extension due to concerns about burdening the new government with the responsibility of deciding on the matter. However, the cabinet reconsidered its decision due to the lingering uncertainty surrounding the formation of a new government, which could have resulted in a significant labor vacuum. (NNT)