May 19, 2024

Thailand raises minimum wage

Photo: Iba-Efe/Narong Sangnak

BANGKOK: The government announced an important step for the world of work in Thailand on May 1, 2024, International Workers' Day. From October 1, 2024, the daily minimum wage will be increased to 400 baht nationwide. The announcement was made by Home Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and Labor Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn during Labor Day celebrations at Lan Khun Muang Square in front of Bangkok City Hall.

Prime Minister Sritha Thavisin's government, which gives high priority to workers, responded directly to the demands of the labor movement, which called for improved social benefits and wages. “This wage increase is a clear sign of our commitment to workers and is in line with our economic policy,” Anutin explained, promising workers an early improvement in their financial situation.

The gradual implementation of the wage increase, as Pipat explained, aims to reduce the financial burden on companies so that small and medium-sized companies in particular do not suffer from the increase. In recent months, the Ministry of Labor has held extensive discussions with employers to reach a consensus that would allow the wage increase to be implemented nationwide.

So far, the government has only increased the minimum wage for specific occupational groups in selected regions. The nationwide amendment, which will now be implemented from October, is the first of its kind. This represents a major change in wage policy and is seen as a response to long-standing demands from workers' representatives.

Pipat also announced that the government is considering increasing the minimum wage to 600 baht by 2027. This promise was part of the ruling Pheu Thai Party's election campaign platform, and now appears to be gradually being implemented.

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The decision will be welcomed by workers across the country, but the economic fallout for businesses and the resulting challenges will remain a major topic in Thai political debate in the coming months.