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Thai Labor Protection Act & Employment Law

Mar 1, 2008
The Labor Protection Act of 1998 (LPA) and the Civil Commercial Code (CCC) are primarily responsible for administering labor protection laws in Thailand. In other words, the rights and duties pertaining to the employer and employee are governed by series of a laws and procedures.

Apart from Labor Protection Act BE 2541 (1998) and Thai Civil and Commercial Code, the laws in connection with Thai labor issues cover Labor Relations Act BE 2518 (AD 1975), Provident Fund Act BE 2530 (AD 1987), Social Security Act BE (AD 1900), and Workmen's Compensation Act BE 2537 (AD 1994.)

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, via the Department of Labor Protection and Welfare, administers the laws as well as rights with regard to labor issues. Further, the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare also possess right to appoint labor inspectors as well as to issue regulations and notifications.

The Labor Protection Act and other related laws have set up employees' minimum rights working in the country. This in turn includes rights covering almost every aspect of an employment such as working hours, remuneration, child and female labor, employee welfare fund, overtime wages, sick leave and maternity leave, holidays, employee dismissal and termination, provident fund issues, workers' compensation, employee social security, and severance. Discussed further in this article are rights pertaining to certain aspects of employment in Thailand.

Working Hours
An employee is mostly entailed to work eight hours a day or 48 hours a week. However, it is reduced to seven hours a day or 42 hours a week, in case, the work is hazardous and affects employee's health. In addition, an employee working continuously for five hours a day should be given a resting time of at least one hour. Likewise, an employee must also be given at least one day holiday in a week.

A remuneration committee has been set up, containing chairman who is the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, government representatives, and representatives of both employers and employees, in order to fix the wages and to determine basic pay.

Place of Payment of Remuneration
As per the Labor Protection Act, an employer is required to make payment of remuneration at the working place itself. However, it can be changed provided if employee is ready to accept payment at some other place or via some other payment modes.

Female Employees
According to the labor acts, both male and female employees must be treated equally in a working environment. However, there are certain exceptions in this case. For instance, an employer is restricted to employ female employee in such organizations engaged in mining as well as construction projects, underwater and tunnel works, and production and transportation of inflammable materials and explosives. Similarly, pregnant female employee is prohibited from working in plant or equipment that vibrates and lifting or carrying on her head more than 15 kilograms of weight. Additionally, an employer cannot terminate a female employee when she is pregnant.

Child Labor
According to the labor law, a child labor could be employed only if he has completed 15 years of age. But, in order to child labor below 18 years of age, the employer is required to notify it to the labor inspector regarding the employment of a child labor within 15 days from the date of his joining the job. Likewise, the law restricts an employer to make a child labor below 18 years to work on public holidays and to do overtime. Further, child labor below 18 are not allowed work in certain working environments such as metal stamping, working with hazardous chemicals, and working with poisonous microorganisms.

Sick Leave and Maternity Leave
As per the law, an employer must grant employees at least 30 days paid sick leave. However, an employee must furnish a doctor's certificate in case, he takes sick leave continuously for three days. In the case of maternity leave, a female pregnant employee should be granted at least 90 days maternity leave, of which the employer should pay for 45 days of the maternity leave.

A notice in writing must be given to an employee prior to his termination. However, according to the Labour Protection Act BE 2541 (1998), an employer can dismiss or terminate an employee without any notice or severance payment in any of these following circumstances such as

- Performing his or her duties and responsibilities dishonestly
- Committing any kind of criminal offense
- Negligence from the part of employee that leading to serious damage or loss to the employer
- Disobeying working rules and regulations devised by the employer
- On imprisonment as per the final judgment of imprisonment

A plethora of law firms are now in scenario in order to help you dealing with the Thai labor law. Usually, these law firms provide a range of services in connection with labor issues such as labor disputes, labor court representation, payroll issues, social security, and labor law compliance issues.
About the Author
For nearly 30 years, Bamrung Suvicha Apisakdi Law Associates (BSA Law) has focused on providing reliable legal advice and services to the Thai and foreign business community in Thailand. We provide international standards of legal services while retaining the customs of the Thai business culture.
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