New measures to register security guards with police will be welcomed by the public but firms hiring them face big cost increases.
But for the guards themselves, the law has been a pain. Some companies appear to be less worried about registration than the financial costs involved.
“My friend says he will head back to his rural hometown and work on paddy fields instead, because the new law sets so many complicated rules,” Paijit Singhabubpha, 46, said.
He said his friend was willing to undergo the full registration process, including having a record taken of his fingerprints, but he was not willing to pay Bt1,000 for a three-year licence.
The Security Service Business Act, which seeks to regulate security services and boost their standards, was passed a year ago but has provisions that came into effect recently. Under the law, all security guards must register with police and to have completed at least mandatory education (Year 9 for those who left school recently).
Although the licence fee of Bt1,000 for a three-year period may not be huge, it means a lot to security guards who earn just Bt350 a day.
“And you know, we are required to work almost every day. If we fail to show up on any work day, we will be fined Bt1,200 per day,” Paijit said.
Working in Bangkok, he hoped his employer would help pay his licence fee.
Sakda Changdee, who owns Eastern Security Management, said his firm would not be able to pay the licence fee for its security guards.
“The new law also requires training for security guards, so my firm will have to absorb the training cost of about Bt2,200 per head,” he said.
His company has provided security guards in Pattaya and in Chon Buri, hiring a total of 46 security guards.
“With the training, we will have to shoulder the additional cost of Bt101,200,” Sakda said.
He said his firm was willing to pay the Bt1,000 licence fee for its security guards but they would have to pay it back later.
Sakda said he would like to urge relevant authorities to review the fee imposed on security-guard firms.
“I think the flat rate of Bt50,000 is not fair. We are just a small firm. The rate should vary in accordance with the size of each firm’s business. How can you expect a small firm to pay the same fee as a big firm that has hundreds of security guards?” he said.
Sakda believed the Security Service Business Act would also make it harder to recruit security guards.
“When people complete mandatory education, they have plenty of occupational choices. How many would choose to be security guards?” he said.