Softer penalties for foreign workers and Thai employers approved by cabinet

The mobile Cabinet meeting yesterday (Feb 6) endorsed the amendment of the Royal Decree on the Management of Alien Workers BE 2560 that will throw out jail sentence for migrant workers working without official permits.

The cabinet agreed only to keep the fine penalty but lower to 5,000- 50,000 baht from the previous hefty fine of 20,000-100,000 baht.

For employers who employ illegal migrant workers, the heafty fine of 400,000 – 800,000 baht for a worker will also be reduced to 10,000 – 100,000 baht.

However for repeated offences, employer will face one year in jail and 50,000 – 200,000 baht fine, and a 3-year ban to employ foreign workers.

Moreover the amendment also revokes the accommodation zones for foreign workers, and allows workers to stay or work at any places so as to correspond with the principles of human rights and freedom.

Meanwhile Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said the ministry would try to finish health checks for foreign workers by the end of this month as instructed by the cabinet.

According to the ministry, almost 2 million foreign workers are subject to health check and come under health security scheme.

99% of foreign workers checked are in good health with only 440 of them requiring to have chronic treatment for tuberculosis, Lymphatic filariasis, and Syphillis.

Health officials also detected pregnancy in 1,608 workers, and also sent back 157 contagious workers in order to cut the spread of the contagious diseases.

The past four year records showed that foreign workers suffered most from diarrhea, unknown sickness, pneumonia, colds, and red eye disease.