The minimum wage for workers was regulated for the first time in Thailand in 1972.
The minimum wage system varies from province to province, considering the cost of living, standard of living, cost of goods production, business capacity, and the economic and social conditions.
In Phuket, Chonburi and Rayong a daily rate of 330 Bath applies. In Bangkok and nearby provinces: Nonthaburi, Chachoengsao, Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon the daily rate of 325 Baht applies. For the rest of 67 provinces daily rates varying from 320 Bath to 308 Bath applies.
Skilled workers from 16 professional branches are entitled to higher minimum wages, ranging from 370 to 600 Baht per day, depending on the worker’s skill level. These include mechanical drawing technicians, tungsten inert gas (TIG) welders for mechanical and metal work, transmission technicians, hydraulic technicians, cooler and air-conditioning pipe welders, large air-conditioner technicians, air-conditioner assemblers, small cooling room technicians, auto-milling machine technicians, electrical discharge machine (EDM) and wire-cut EDM technicians, mold polishers, shoemakers, furniture assembler and techinican, employees working in iron industry.
In order to qualify for the minimum wage criteria, skilled workers must pass professional skills standards tests, obtain relevant certificates, and work in positions that require usage of such skills, either entirely or partly.
Employers of skilled employees must pay wages at least at the specified rates per day. The rates must be complied with regardless of how many hours the employee works per day. For example, if the employee works for only four hours per day, he is still entitled to the same minimum wage as another person who works seven hours per day.
For a foreign employee, there are different types of minimum wages depending on the person’s country of origin:
• 50,000 Baht/month: Western European Countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, and the USA
• 45,000 Baht/month: Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore
• 35,000 Baht/month: Eastern European Countries, Asian Countries, Central American Countries, Mexico, South American Countries, Turkey, Russia, and South Africa
• 25,000 Baht/month: African Countries, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Lao PDR
Foreign English teachers are exempted from these requirements. Generally, their salary ranges from 20,000-35,000 Baht for school teachers to 60,000 Baht for college/university teachers.
Failure to pay the minimum wage rates may result in penalties for the employer, such as imprisonment of up of 6 months, and/or a fine up to 100,000 Baht.