Following the Government's policy on Bureaucratic Reform, the Administrative Procedures Act (No.5), B.E.2545 (2002), revising the Administrative Procedures Act, B.E.2534 (1991) and the Act on Reorganization of Ministries, Ministerial Bureaus and Departments have been enacted and came into force as from 3 October B.E.2545 (2002). The Acts provide for the transfer of functions and personnel of dissolved government units to other units and for the establishment of new departments.
On its part, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has transferred the functions of the Department of Public Welfare to the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. The new Ministry of Labour, therefore, has its main task on labour administration. The Ministry is a strategic unit in the Government's task for national development. Its functions are to provide services in pursuant to Article 86 of the Constitution, B.E.2540 (1997) which requires the Government to promote the employment of people of working ages, protect workers especially child and women workers, organize labour relations system, provide social security and ensure fair payment and to fulfil people' wishes for the Ministry of Labour to be dependable on rendering services in labour administration and solving labour problems.
1. Duties and Authority
The Act on Reorganization of Ministries, Ministerial Bureaus and Departments, B.E.2545 (2002) provides for the adjustment of the authority of governmental agencies. It also changes the administrative system by restructuring agencies with works related to be compounded in a group so as to enable the objectives and direction of related agencies to work together in unity ,with efficiency and without unnecessary cost due to overlapping.
Under Article 34 of the Act, the Ministry of Labour has authority in labour administration and protection, skill development, the promotion of employment of people and any other governmental functions as prescribed by law to be the powers and duties of the Ministry of Labour or agencies under the Ministry. The Article 35 of the Act provides for the establishment of the following agencies under the Ministry.
1.Office of the Minister
2.Office of the Permanent Secretary
3.Department of Employment
4.Department of Skill Development
5.Department of Labour Protection and Welfare
6.Office of Social Security
Pursuant to Article 8 f of the Administrative Procedures Act, B.E.2534 (1991), revised
by the Administrative Procedures Act (No.4), B.E.2543 (2000), it requires that the division of organization of an office of the Minister, a department or an agency by different denomination with departmental status to be issued by a Ministerial Regulation, and in which the authority of each agency shall also be specified. The Government has, therefore, issued 159 Ministerial Regulations published in the Royal Gazette on 8 October 2002, which took effect as from 9 October 2002. The Ministerial Regulations have prescribed the authority of the agencies under the Ministry of Labour as follows.
1) The Office of the Minister of Labour has its functions in relation to political matters with a view to supporting the Minister's conduct of his duties and taking charge of policy coordination with other Ministries. It has the following powers and duties.
1.to compile and analyze data and information to report to the Minister and submit opinions in support of his decision making on the matters.
2.to assist the Minister in his political actions in connection with other Ministers, the Cabinet, the Parliament and the people.
3.to coordinate in connection with the replies to inquiries, explanations on motions and on draft Acts and other political activities.
4.to consider complaints or requests filed to the Minister.
5.to perform other functions as prescribed by laws to be the powers and duties of the Office of the Minister or entrusted by the Minister or by the Cabinet.
2) The Office of the Permanent Secretary of Labour has its functions in relation to the development of strategies, the translation of Ministerial policies into action plans, the allocation of resources and the administration of routine Ministerial functions with a view to meet the goals and achieve results effectively. It has the following powers and duties.
1.to study, analyze and prepare information in support of formulating policies, setting goals and specifying results.
2.to develop Ministerial administrative strategies.
3.to translate policies into guidelines and action plans.
4.to allocate and manage Ministerial resources with a view to economization, and utilization and meeting the demands.
5.to supervise, accelerate, monitor and evaluate as well as coordinate the work of agencies under the Ministry.
6.to develop an information technology system with a view to utilizing the administrative work and services of agencies under the Ministry.
7.to take charge of public relations work, international relations work and to update relevant legislation.
8.to carry out activities in relation to the development of minimum wage and income system.
9.to conduct research and development on labour issues.
10.to carry out activities in relation to the governmental inspection by Ministerial Inspector- Generals and the handling of complaints lodged within the Ministry' s authority.
11.to perform other functions as prescribed by laws to be its powers and duties or entrusted by
the Ministry or the Cabinet.
3 ) The Department of Employment has its functions in relation to the promotion of employment and the protection of job seekers. It studies and analyses labour market situations and trends, serves as a labour market information center as well as develops and enhances the administrative system for employment promotion with a view to helping people to suit employment to their knowledge, abilities and skill, not to be cheated and secure their rights and benefits duly and fairly. It has the following powers and duties.
1.to carry out its functions under the law on employment services and job seeker protection, the law on working of aliens and other related laws.
2.to analyze labour market situations and trends in labour demand and to serve as labour market information center.
3.to develop a system, model, measures and methods of employment services; to formulate and coordinate the Department's action plans to be in line with the Ministry's policy and strategy in labour matters; and to establish occupational and industrial standards.
4.to provide counseling services and vocational guidance to people on the basis of their skill.
5.to perform other functions as prescribed by laws to be its powers and duties or entrusted by the Ministry or the Cabinet.
4.) The Department of Skill Development has its functions in relation to the development of labour skills, capacity building for labour and entrepreneurs with a view to develop labour skills to meet international standards and encourage entrepreneurs to be able to compete in the global market. It has the following powers and duties.
1.to develop the standards of labour skills to meet international standards and to promote skill testing and skill competition.
2.to develop labour skills and the system and model of skill development for labour.
3.to promote labour skill development, capacity building for labour and entrepreneurs.
4.to coordinate and encourage public and private sectors to prepare a plan for national skilled labour demand and to establish networking for skill development.
5.to carry out its functions under the law on skill development promotion and other related laws.
6.to promote participation, to coordinate linkages and to establish and develop networking for the development of labour potentials in the country and abroad.
7.to perform other functions as prescribed by laws to be its powers and duties or entrusted by the Ministry or the Cabinet.
5.) The Department of Labour Protection and Welfare has its functions in relation to labour standard setting, labour protection, occupational safety, health, and the working environment, labour relations, state enterprise labour relations and labour welfare. It develops and promote standards, model, mechanisms and measures, and solves problems with a view to enhancing competitiveness in trade and developing workers' good quality of life. It has the following powers and duties.
1.to establish and develop labour standards, as well as encourage, supervise and recognize the establishments managed in compliance with international labour standards.
2.to ensure workers in formal and informal sectors the protection of rights and benefits in accordance with the laws, and possession of a good quality of life.
3.to carry out its functions under the law on labour protection, the law on labour relations, the law on state enterprise labour relations and other related laws.
4.to promote and develop system on occupational safety, health and the working environment.
5.to promote, develop and disseminate knowledge and understanding of labour standards, labour protection, occupational safety, labour relations, state enterprise labour relations and labour welfare.
6.to promote and arrange for the provision of labour welfare.
7.to prevent and resolve conflicts, labour disputes and industrial unrest. to develop the information system on labour protection and welfare and to formulate and coordinate the Department's action plans to be in line with the Ministry' s policy and strategy.
8.to perform other functions as prescribed by laws to be its powers and duties or entrusted by the Ministry or the Cabinet.
6.) The Office of Social Security has its function in relation to the administration of social security and of the Workmen' s Compensation Fund, with a view to ensuring through efficient management of a secured living for workers. It has the following powers and duties.
1.to conduct governmental functions to achieve results, following the aims, guideline and the Ministry's action plans.
2.to carry out its functions under the law on social security, the law on workmen' s compensation and other related laws.
3.to manage the Social Security Fund and the Workmen' s Compensation Fund.
4.to ensure insured persons and employees the protection of rights and benefits in accordance with the laws.
5.to develop a system, model, measures and methods in regard to social security and workmen' s compensation and to coordinate the Office' s action plans.
6.to perform other functions as prescribed by laws to be its powers and duties or entrusted by the Ministry or the Cabinet.