Labour Act exclusion leads to low pay and challenging
conditions for migrant workers in Thai agricultural
sector
ILO survey highlights how pre-COVID-19 working conditions were already difficult
for migrant workers in the Thai sugarcane, rubber, oil palm and maize industries.
Press release | 20 May 2022

BANGKOK, Thailand (ILO news) - Exclusion from the Labour Protection Act leads to low pay and
challenging working conditions for large numbers of migrant workers in the Thai agricultural
sector according to a new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Working and employment conditions in the agriculture sector in Thailand: A survey of migrants
working on Thai sugarcane, rubber, oil palm and maize farms presents the findings of a survey
undertaken to better understand employment practices and working conditions for migrant
workers in the maize, oil palm, rubber and sugarcane industries.
The survey, which was carried out prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, found that migrant worker
income varied significantly depending on gender, crop, nationality, type of labour, and province of
employment.
Of migrant worker respondents who reported working full time, 58.7 per cent made less than the
statutory minimum wage of the province in which they were employed. And while 50 per cent of
men were paid less than the minimum wage, the figure rises to 65.7 per cent for women migrant
workers.
Migrant workers in Tak Province (all from Myanmar) are particularly badly off with 95.4 per cent
reporting that they receive less than the minimum monthly wage of 7,320 baht, (based on a
calculation of 305 baht x 24 days), while 39.4 per cent reported earning less than half the minimum
wage. By comparison, 74.4 per cent of workers in Sa Kaeo (where all workers were from Cambodia)
were paid less than minimum wage, while almost 35 per cent of workers in Surat Thani (all workers
from Myanmar) and only 3.7 per cent of workers in Loei (all from the Lao People’s Democratic

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