The Ministry of Labour reported that the Cabinet gave a green light for over 100,000 foreign workers who traveled to work following the MoU who have completed their employment term and foreigners who work on a seasonal basis or travel back and forth within the border area. The measures will allow the workers to stay in the Kingdom temporarily and to work temporarily until the borders are reopened.
Labour Minister M.R. Chatu Mongol Sonakul reported that the Cabinet’s meeting on March 31, 2020, approved measures for foreign workers who traveled to work following the MoU who have completed four years of employment, and foreigners who work on a seasonal basis or travel back and forth within the border area, which have expired permits but cannot leave the Kingdom before or on April 30, 2020. The measures will allow the workers to stay in the Kingdom and to work temporarily until the borders are reopened.
“From the Covid-19 virus spread, the Cabinet therefore passed a resolution on March 17, 2020, to approve urgent measures to prevent and reduce the risk of infection. As a result, the government has taken relevant actions, especially limiting the movement of many people, as well as closing the border checkpoints between Thailand and neighboring countries. Such actions have impacted foreign workers who have completed their employment period and for those who’s permits to remain in the Kingdom have expired. There are over 108,586 affected people (the MoU group estimates 44,222 people and the border group estimates of 64,364 people) who cannot leave the Kingdom before or on April 30, 2020. Therefore, to comply with the measures to prevent the Covid-19 which has become an emergency and a threat to all sectors, and to alleviate the suffering of employers, business operators, and foreign workers, the Ministry of Labour proposed ways to proceed to the Cabinet, in which the Cabinet approved the proposals,” said the Labour Minister.
The Department of Employment’s Director-General Mr. Suchat Pornchaiwiseskul further said that the Cabinet passed a resolution on March 31, 2020, approving measures for foreign worker groups who: 1) Travelled to work under the MoU, namely Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, who have completed the 4-year employment term and the permit to remain in Kingdom expired so that they cannot leave the Kingdom before or on April 30, 2020. 2) Foreigners of Cambodian and Myanmar nationality who hold passports that are allowed to work in the Kingdom, in which the permission to reside in the border area has expired, and they cannot leave the Kingdom before or on April 30, 2020. The measures will allow such foreign workers to temporarily stay in the Kingdom and continue to work until April 30, 2020, as the announced in the government’s emergency decree in all areas throughout the Kingdom, or the period specified in additional emergency decrees (if any).
“The Department of Employment gives importance to suppressing the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the country. In the past, it has had close discussions with relevant agencies to find preventative measures,” said Mr. Suchart.
Division of Public Relations
1 April 2020