Thailand: Statutory, Judicial Changes in Labor Law Discussed at AmCham Meeting

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By Michael Mackey

April 22—Changes in occupational health and safety legislation and two important Supreme Court decisions were discussed recently at the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand's annual briefing on the Labor Environment.

Chapter 8 of the 1998 Labor Protection Act regulating occupational safety and health has been succeeded by the more extensive 2011 Safety, Occupational Health and Work Environment Act. According to Auradee P. Wongsaroj, an associate in labor law from the Chandler and Thong-Ek legal practice, “Chapter 8 of the Labor Protection Act provides many obligations on the employer but was silent on obligations for safety regulations for employees. The 2011 Act expressly indicates that the employee is obliged to comply with the safety regulations.”

Wongsaroj also noted a recent Supreme Court decision concerning Section 11/1  of the Labor Protection Act No. 2 (2008), which requires a company “to arrange for an employee hired for wages, who works in the same manner as employees under a direct employment contract . . . to without discrimination receive fair rights, benefits and welfare.”

The decision “is the first Supreme Court judgment confirming the obligations of the [employer] to provide fair rights, benefits and welfare to outsourced employees,” Wongsaroj said.

A second Supreme Court decision  on employment termination under Section 583 of the Civil and Commercial Code confirms that “the termination of employment due to the personal chatting on the internet during working hours constitutes fair termination,” Wongsaroj said. “In addition, under this Supreme Court judgment, the employee was terminated during a probationary period. The court noted that during this period, an employee needs to pay more attention to their work.”

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Mackey in Bangkok at correspondents@BNA.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at rvollmar@bna.com

For more information on Thai HR law and regulation, see the Thailand primer.