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Labor Department Regulations Pertaining to Work Permits Changing

Transcript of the above video:

In today's video, we're going to be giving an update with respect to the new penalties and the new practical application of recently promulgated rules and regulations pertaining to the more stringent application of labor regulations on foreign nationals wishing to work or endeavor in employment activities here in the Kingdom of Thailand.

As has been previously noted, new rules came down on June 21st with respect to the penalties for violation of Thai labor law most notably significant increases in fines associated with illegal employment activity here in the Kingdom and there were also criminal penalties which were created as a result of the recently promulgated changes to the legislation. Recently, it's come to my attention via the Bangkok Post and I'm quoting directly from a Bangkok Post article July 6th 2017. The headline of this article is “15 days to bring migrant workers under net” and to just quote directly one specific line “people involved in the employment of other registered migrant workers will have 15 days to apply for the recruitment after the new labor law was suspended for 180 days,” said a senior labor official.

What's going on here? Well basically, what everyone is scrambling to do with respect to migrant labor and by migrant labor, that's a slightly differentiating term from foreign labor and I'll get into the difference here in a minute. But basically, what's going on is everybody is scrambling to sort of get compliant with the new rules. At first, there was moratorium which placed a 120 day delay on the enforcement of the new rules and regulations. Those interested in exactly what those rules and regulations are going to be should check out another video on this channel that specifically gets into that.

But just talking specifically as to the practical implications of the delay and what's going on with this, at first, a 120 days suspension was placed on it then that was increased to 180 days. So now as of January 1 2018, that's when we can expect these rules to be in full force and effect. What's happened here is officials have basically said look, effectively they need time. Everybody on all sides of this needs time to go ahead and get into compliance. And there was kind of mass exodus on some of the borders with respect to foreign migrant laborers because they were really afraid of adverse consequences from the new from the application the new rules.

I think the delay was a good idea. I think maybe it would have been a little bit better to sort of build in the delay and not have this instantaneously come into effect. Although I do have to say unlike other countries where things sort of get phased in and you don't really notice when things are phased in. The way that Thailand often does things where they just immediately enact something and that is from that moment forward sort of the law of the land. It does have a tendency to cause people to understand exactly what's going on a lot more quickly because it's instantaneously in effect. It's not one of these things where you say “yeah, that changing the rules or yeah okay six months, I'll get around don’t worry about that.”

It's often been my experience that folks that think that way oftentimes can find themselves in more trouble than they like to be in because they just procrastinate dealing with the issue. Whereas the legal system or the regulatory amendment process over here seems to be instantaneous which essentially likes a fire under everybody to go ahead and get into compliance as quickly as possible which is exactly what's now happening here. Notwithstanding the moratorium officials have said “look you've got a couple of weeks, let's go ahead and get everybody on the books, let's get everybody registered up and so we know where everyone stands when the time comes in January to go ahead and start really enforcing these new rules and penalties to the fullest extent of the law.”

And understand, some of these penalties are pretty significantly steep. I mean there's criminal liability attached to some of this stuff. There's significant fines attached to violations of something labor codes. And as has been previously stated, this is not an insignificant change in the rules. For that reason I think everybody decided to delay in implementation was a good idea and moreover, it also allows sort of this gray area period to allow people who probably were somewhere like in the ether if you will kind of in a limbo state with respect to the old rules to really come in, to properly be in compliance with the new rules put everyone on notice so that they know where everything stands so that come January 1, we're basically ready to deal with everything with sort of a clean slate.