As they say, employee’s rights are human rights. Nowadays, many laborers from across the world are experiencing different forms of exploitations—physical, mental, emotional and financial. They are deprived of their rights to earn a satisfactory living wage and work in healthy and safe workplaces. Most of these workers are struggling to defend their dignity and pride for the sake of their family and themselves.
Like any other countries, the Kingdom of Thailand has its labor law that should not be taken for granted by any employer. All the rights and responsibilities that pertain to employers and employees are commonly ruled by a series of rules and regulations. Primarily, the Labor Protection Act of 1998 (LPA) and the Civil Commercial Code (CCC) are the ones in charge for administering labor protection laws in Thailand. Apart from them, there are also laws that connect with Thai Labor compliance issues. These are:
- – Labor Protection Act BE 2541,
- – Labor Court and Labor Court Procedure BE 2522,
- – Labor Relations Act BE 2518,
- – Social Security Act BE 2533,
- – Thai Civil and Commercial Code,
- – Provident Fund Act BE 2530, and
- – Workmen’s Compensation Act BE 2537.
Employees should be aware of these acts so they will know what rights they should stand for. These acts deal with many labor issues such as maximum working hour, remuneration, child labor, female labor, sick and maternity leave, dismissal as well as termination of employees, welfare and social security of employees, and hiring of employees services.
Under these labor laws, an employee can obtain a maximum of 120 days probationary period or equivalent to 4 months. Furthermore, it involves at least 13 national holidays each year and six vacation leaves once an employee has completed one year of service. In addition, an employee can also avail of 30 working days a year for his sick leave. For female employees, they are eligible for maternity leave of 90 days with 45 days’ full salary.
As far as remuneration is concerned, an employer is required to pay employees all normal salary including benefits. All wages must be in accordance with the minimum wage as prescribed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.
In most employments in Thailand, male and female employees are treated the same. However, a female employee is prohibited from working in work places that is harmful such as construction, underwater, tunnel or underground mining and transportation and production of inflammable or explosive items. Further, if female employees got pregnant, the employer should not allow them to work overtime or on public holidays.
The minimum age for a child to get employed is 15 years old. Only employees aged 18 years and above are allowed to work overtime or holidays and perform works that imply danger.
If in cases that a child who is under the age of 18 years will be employed, it is necessary for an employer to notify it to the labor inspector at least 15 days after the child starts his work. It should also be noted that a child laborer is strictly prohibited from certain establishments like gambling centers, slaughterhouses, dance clubs and centers where alcoholic beverages are served. Most of all, an employer is required to pay the remuneration or benefits of child employees only to the child employees and not to their so-called guardians or parents.
With regards to the to the laws and regulations pertaining to termination and dismissal, a written notice must be provided by an employer to the employee prior to his termination. However, based on the Labor Protection Act BE 2541 (1998), an employer can dismiss or terminate an employee without any notice or severance payment in cases where an employee is dishonest to his or her duties and responsibilities, commits any kind of criminal offense, neglects his or her duties and responsibilities which lead to serious damage or loss, disobedient with the rules and regulations set by the employer and imprisoned as per the final judgment of imprisonment.