DoE told to screen local businesses

DoE told to screen local businesses

Officials to curb use of Thai nominees

The Labour Ministry yesterday ordered the Department of Employment (DoE) to screen local businesses in the capital, Phuket, Samui and Pattaya to identify those working with Thai nominees.

The ministry is working with other agencies to investigate local businesses in major tourist cities to determine whether they have violated the Foreigners’ Working Management Emergency Decree, said Minister Suchart Chomklin yesterday.

The move followed complaints from food vendors in Bangkok’s Yaowarat area that Chinese nationals with tourist visas were using local nominees to run shops and eateries in the area, hurting the livelihoods of local operators.

In the 2023 fiscal year, 9,883 enterprises have been inspected, with 355 of them now facing charges,” Mr Suchart said, highlighting the DoE’s role in the inspections. ” Moreover, over 153,882 foreign nationals were screened and 795 of them were charged.”

Pairoj Chotikasatien, DoE director-general, said the department worked with Immigration Police, Tourist Police, Metropolitan Bureau Police, the Department of Business Development and the Revenue Department to survey cities popular among tourists and local businesses.

He said foreigners who were not permitted to open a business would be fined between 5,000 and 50,000 baht by the DoE.

Meanwhile, employers or entrepreneurs who employed foreigners without a work permit would be fined 10,000–100,000 baht per employee, he said, adding repeat offenders would face one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to 200,000 baht. They will also be banned from hiring foreigners for three years.

Mr Pairoj said work permit applications require strict inspections before they are issued.

“There are an average of 100 work permit applications by Chinese nationals per day in Bangkok,” he said. “Each application should be inspected thoroughly as inspection might have been done randomly in the past.”

Moreover, Mr Pairoj said foreigners permitted to work have to submit a report in person every three to six months to confirm that they are working in accordance with the details issued on their work permit.