Thailand plans to raise its mininum wage for the first time in more than two years, by 5% to 8% to help workers cope with the impact of the pandemic, according to the national wage committee and the labour minister.
The national wage committee expects to recommend the hike in the daily minimum wage when it meets later this month, committee member Phijit Deesui told Reuters on Monday.
The daily minimum wage would be increased to between 329 baht and 353 baht ($9.19-$9.86), pending cabinet approval.
The government wants the wage increase to start later this year, rather than early next year, Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin told Reuters.
"I want this to happen as soon as possible because people have a lot of trouble with living costs and we haven't adjusted the wage for a long time," he said.
The minimum wage was last hiked in January 2020, by 1.6%-1.8%.
The new figures would put Thailand's monthly minimum wage – at 9,870 to 10,590 baht – among the highest in Southeast Asia.
In Vietnam, a regional manufacturing base, the government's minimum wage range is between 3.25 million dong ($138.96) and 4.68 million dong ($138.96-$200.10) per month.
($1 = 35.79 baht)
($1 = 23,388 dong)