T hailand had made major changes to the rules regarding work permits and its foreign labour law. The changes, which were introduced on March 27 2018 and saw Thailand relax some of its laws regarding work permits, including reducing the
penalties for foreigners found working without work permits. For example, foreigners can no longer be sent to jail for working without a work permit.
Also scrapped was the rarely enforced requirement that all foreigners who come to Thailand to attend meetings, seminars or sports competitions need a work permit.
Arguably the most significant change was that the Decree states that a foreigner who has work permit in Thailand can now work anywhere and for anyone and carry out work not listed in the description on their work permit, providing it is not
excluded under the list of occupations prohibited to foreigners.
There's a new narrower definition of "work":
Engaging in any profession, with or without an employer, but excluding operation of business of a licensee under the Foreign Business Law
The maximum penalty for working without work permit is reduced to a fine of THB 5,000 to 50,000 and to be deported from the country
There was no reference to the recent changes covering people who "work for themselves".
The Thai authorities seem to be taking on people who offer short term lets on rooms, condos, or house, of less than a month. It is legal to privately rent property for periods of over a month but less than a month are only allowed in officially
licensed hotels. Of course the licensing of hotels is very onerous and so is widely ignored.
The issue has perhaps been brought to a head by AirBnB as it provides a straightforward way for people to rent out their properties. hotels feel a bit challenged by the competition and so have been complaining to the authorities.
As is often the case in Thailand, these laws have been in existence for some time but the law has been loosely enforced with some condo developments around the country acting as defacto hotels and listing in many online booking websites.
This week says a court in Hua Hin ruled it was illegal for people to rent out their condos or rooms on a daily or weekly basis. While AirBnB was not specifically mentioned in the Hua Hin court case, the home-share system has grown to the point
where Thailand's legally registered hotels are calling foul.
Earlier this month, authorities in Pattaya arrested seven individuals for operating what were described as illegal hotels (lacking permits or failure to abide reporting laws). Just one of the properties was an apartment building.
AirBnB in Thailand claims its service is legal but have been less than helpful when one a property owner posted on its website's community page a request for clarification. A year passed and no response.
The Immigration Department also have specific requirements of hotels to report any foreign guest's arrival. The unregistered properties fall through this reporting system making them a target of Thailand's strict Immigration requirements.
Thailand has banned smoking on their top beaches citing litter from butt ends, which seems a bit rich when overlooking large amounts of plastic pollution that is washed up on beaches these days.
The country has banned smoking at 24 of the most popular beaches with foreign tourists.
Bannaruk Sermthong, director at the Office of Marine and Coastal Resources Management told Reuters : Starting today, smoking and cigarette-butt littering are prohibited on beach areas. Anyone who wants to smoke must do so in designated smoking
areas, not on the beaches.
If you're found smoking on a beach you could be fined 100,000 baht (£2,243) and get a year in prison.
And it's not just cigarettes which are banned on Thai beaches.The country has also banned vaping entirely.
Oh and drinking beer on the beach is also prohibited
I've just been to the Post Office to send my application for the UK Pension. The Lady wanted to see my Passport. Crazy to send a letter? luckily I had my driving licence.
The UK Pension Forms were even more crazy, they wanted to know everything. Where you lived, where you worked, were you ever in Hospital., where and how long. Did you ever claim Child benefit, dole or any other benefit's, were you in the army, are
you married or divorced, where you were married, and a lot more of totally irrelevant information.
They have all the info they need from your national insurance number. They are just prying into peoples lives,
it was 26 pages, luckily I've never been married or claimed any benefits or I'd still be filling in the form. Mind you the money will come in handy, buy a few more lady drinks, haha.
27th January 2018. Thanks to Dick Farang
In recent times it has happened to me too that, when sending a registered letter, the employee at the Post Office on Soi Post Office (Soi 13/2) asked my ID.
For foreigners the passport or a driving licence will do. The employee will note both the sender and the addressee on the receipt, which is a good thing.
In recent years I have been stopped at least ten times for alcohol checks, but I was always under the limit. Or I had not been drinking at all, or had been drinking only one or two beers over a longer period of time. That being said I do not
trust their breathalysers.
Last year I have been fined on Pattayatai for not noticing in time a policeman waving a plain white torch (not a red stick). The worst thing was the queuing at the packed police station on Soi 9 to pay the fine (400 baht). (The policeman had kept
my driving licence and I had to pay within a week.)
The first year I was living here I was stopped on Sukhumvit Road somewhere past Sattahip and fined because the paperwork of the rental car was not complete. I had to pay the fine immediately at a police booth and it was later refunded by the car
What I find strange is that you are fined for not having the right paperwork, not having a (valid) number plate, not having a (valid) insurance, not wearing a helmet, etc., but that you can be on your merry way after. In my case that rental car
could have been stolen.
To be honest I have never been cheated out of money by Thai police.