Expats changing jobs must tell Thai gov or pay up to 200K

All foreign migrants workers – yes, including you expats – must inform the government about any job changes or face a colossal fine.

The Labor Ministry reiterated in an announcement today that all foreigners working in the kingdom who have taken a new job or left a previous one must notify its Department of Employment within 15 days of the change or face a fine that can run upward of to 200,000 (about US$6,000). The good, or less-scary news, is that it can also run as low as THB10,000.

What that number ends up being depends on how grievously and flagrantly the foreigner violates the regulations and ignores protocols, the department’s Suchana Somsap told Coconuts Bangkok.

Workers from neighboring countries – mostly in low or unskilled labor – working through a multilateral labor agreement have only seven days to notify the department of changes to their employment status.

Notification can be made at any employment office throughout the country. If in doubt, talk to your human resources representative.

The message seems to be – don’t trust your employer to handle everything as you, not them, are personally on the hook for any violations.

Though the law has been around for awhile, Suchana said the department is putting foreign workers on notice of their responsibility because many employers misunderstand the system and problems have become more frequent.

While the department assured that the law applies to everyone, it’s anyone’s guess where it will be evenly enforced. The harshest crackdowns in recent memory suggest some laws are more applicable to expats with darker skin.

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