Committee agrees on up to 5% rise for workers

Workers could receive their minimum daily wage more than 300 baht by next year if the proposal is agreed by the labour minister. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

The national tripartite committee, consisting of representatives of workers, employers and the government, has decided the minimum daily wage of 300 baht should increase by up to 5% next year, or 15 baht.

The conclusive report is due to be submitted for approval to the newly-appointed Labour Minister Pol Gen Adul Sangsingkeo.

The rise in the minimum wage rate was agreed upon by the real sector and analysts, saying it was an appropriate rate that matched the country’s economic situation as both employees and employers are faced with imminent automation and robotics, which forced them to immediately adjust themselves.

Tanit Sorat, vice-chairman of the Employers’ Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry, said the proposal to set a minimum wage rise of up to 15 baht would be submitted for approval within the next few weeks in order to be implemented by Jan 1, 2018.

“The 0-15 baht rise was approved by all stakeholders — the government, the employers and the employees — and the rise will vary from province to province,” said Mr Tanit, referring to the three parties in the tripartite committee.

He added the committee has approved the rise several weeks ago. However, the proposal had to be delayed due to the cabinet reshuffle, since it needs to be go to the newly-appointed labour minister.

Mr Tanit said the rise in minimum wage of 0-15 baht is based on an average inflation of 0.4%, which is still in the range of the 0.6-1% inflation target set by the Commerce Ministry for this year.

The committee’s decision is in line with the Federation of Thai Industries’ (FTI) estimation, which said the rise in minimum daily wage rate of 0-15 baht will bring the new daily wage rate in the range of 300-400 baht next year.

FTI vice-chairman Kriangkrai Thiennukul said the daily pay rise would not incur an untenable burden on the real sector and would allow employers to have more spending power.

However, he said labour-intensive industries such as garment and food industries will have to adapt to the changes.

The University of Thai Chamber of Commerce vice-president for research Thanavath Phonvichai said the proposed minimum wage rise for next year meets the needs of the economic situation, since it will increase purchasing power and create huge costs on the production side.

“The rate should be good for every party. If it rises too much, the move towards automation and robots will accelerate, which will hurt employees and employers will also have rising costs in switching to robots,” he said.

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