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Illegal foreign workers given grace period to comply with new law

Illegal foreign workers given grace period to comply with new law

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017

Authorities will grant a grace period for illegal foreign workers to comply with new regulations that came into effect last week.

Employment Department director general Waranon Pitiwan said on Thursday that during the first few months of implementation there may be manpower shortages in the construction sector, house maids and SME workers. He said they will not arrest illegal workers during this period but allow employers to send them to get passports, visas and registration.

The Executive Decree on the Management of Foreign Workers Act 2017 that came into effect on June 23 is aimed at controlling the amount of migrant workers in the country, as well as foreigners who work in Thailand illegally. 
Employers cried foul over the new law due to its severe punishment. 
Under the new law, people who employ foreign workers illegally will face tougher punishments, with employers set to face fines of between Bt400,000 and 800,000 for each foreigner they employ illegally.
Foreigners found working without a work permit face fines of between Bt2,000 and 100,000, or imprisonment up to five years.
The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) yesterday asked the government to review the law and hold a third round to register nearly 3 million illegal foreign workers. 
However, Waranon turned down the proposal to open a new round of registration.
He suggested that employers hire local labour instead. Currently, there are 6,000 to 7,000 registered Thai workers seeking jobs each month.