The Nation



13 professions set to get a salary hike

Next govt will make final decision after a nod from wage committee

By March, people in 13 professions will enjoy a rise in their minimum daily wage above the standard Bt300 rate, after approval was given officially yesterday by the Wage Tripartite Committee.

The largest increase goes to spa masseurs, designated "holistic health promotion therapists: Western spa nutrition - Class 2", in Sector 5 covering the hospitality sector. They will receive Bt815 a day, while those categorised in Class 1 will receive Bt565.

Therapists doing aroma massage and water-power treatments in Classes 1 and 2 will receive Bt540, Bt715, Bt565 and Bt750, respectively, said the statement, which was read out at a Labour Ministry press conference.

The masseurs belong to one of five sectors of labourers or professions entitled to the increase. The decision will be forwarded to the next labour minister for initial approval, and later for Cabinet approval, which is likely to be no later than March.

Labour Ministry permanent secretary Jeerasak Sukonthachart said he believed the increases would encourage the recipients to maintain or develop their skills, while inspiring those lacking those skills to seek relevant training to get themselves future wage increases.

Meanwhile, in Sector 1 covering industrial personnel, the committee decided to hike the minimum wage for welders handling high-density pipes to Bt460 a day, for pipe assemblers to Bt400, and for mould-makers in the printing industry at Bt480.

The three other sectors entitled to raises cover traditional craftsmen, construction workers and mechanics.

Jeerasak, concurrently serving as the committee's chairman, said a survey involving business owners of 38,500 organisations across all sizes of enterprises would be completed next month.

Survey of business owners

The survey results would show how business owners were likely to be affected by the proposed increases, and how 15 measures supported by the government could help them cope.

He said a previous survey found that 80 per cent of enterprises had been affected by the blanket rise in the daily minimum wage to Bt300 early this year.

"The ministry's own analysis has found that 60 of the business owners surveyed would be affected by this latest raise, while the [assistance] measures are expected to maintain the employment rate," he added.

The Yingluck Shinawatra government began to raise the daily minimum wage to Bt300 across the country in 2012. A Cabinet decision approving the blanket rise said the figure could be increased further after 2015 if inflation and the cost of living warranted such a move.

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