Soft launching of the updated labour inspection guidelines in Thailand

A guide for labour inspectors is aimed to improve labour inspection services as a whole, with attention to women migrant workers, domestic workers, forced labour, and violence and harassment in the workplace.

News | 21 September 2021
Online launch of the updated Labour Inspector Guidelines in Thailand
BANGKOK - The ILO, through the joint ILO-UN Women Safe and Fair Programme, under the European Union-United Nations Spotlight Initiative, in close collaboration with the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, Minsitry of Labour, the Royal Thai Government, launched the forthcoming updated Labour Inspection Guidelines with attention to women migrant workers, domestic workers, forced labour, and violence and harassment. The online launching took place on 15 September 2021. Started in 2020, the guidelines has been updated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The forthcoming guidelines are currently piloted for online capacity training of over 300 labour inspectors across all regions of Thailand.

Labour inspection is such an essential part of the labour administration system, exercising the fundamental function of labour law enforcement and effective compliance. It ensures fairness in the workplace and helps promote economic development. In essence, the institution of labour inspection supervises the enforcement of legal provisions, particularly with regard to workers’ rights and play a key role in the world of work.

"The changing world of work has highlighted the challenges of labour inspection. We need to adapt and modernize labour inspection to cope with the challenges brought by the pandemic," says Suthi Sukosol, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour Thailand.

The Thai updated guidelines and capacity training address the latest ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), and the hard-to-reach sector, such as domestic work which is predominantly performed by women. The characteristics of domestic work make it challenging for labour inspectors to provide adequate legal protections. A similar challenge is faced when it comes to ensuring decent accommodations for workers in dormitories, for example migrant workers in the construction sector.
"Labour inspectors play an important role in ensuring labour law is applied equally to all employers and workers, including migrant workers and workers in hard to reach sectors, such as domestic work, which is predominantly carried out by women," says Francesca Gilli, Attaché and Programme Officer of the Cooperation Section, European Union Delegation to Thailand.

Over 300 labour inspectors from across the country will undergo a training, supported by the joint ILO-UN Women Safe and Fair Programme, throughout September and October. The Labour Inspection Guidelines will not only serve them as a training resource, but also as a tool to examine how the national labour standards are applied in the workplace and advise employers and workers on how to improve the application of national law in such areas as working hour, wages, occupational safety and health, forced labour, and violence and harassment in the workplace.

"Labour inspectors play such an important role in ensuring the rights of all workers. The ILO is here to support the challenges the Ministry of Labour may face regarding labour inspection especially during this difficult time," says Graeme Buckley, ILO Director of Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific and Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR.

The ILO stands by the Royal Thai Government in building capacity for government officials on labour inspection and in supporting the updated labour inspection guidelines to promote effective system of labour inspection to ensure that the rights of all workers, including women migrant workers, are respected and protected.