Thailand: Compliance check on work rules

Under the Thai Labour Protection Act, employers with ten or more employees are required to establish work rules which contain certain prescribed matters. Until recently, employers were required to submit their work rules to the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare. However, pursuant to an Order recently issued by the National Council for Peace, work rules are no longer required to be submitted to the Department.

Changes to the law

Previously, the Thai Labour Protection Act (the LPA) provided that employers with ten or more employees are required to establish work rules in Thai language and such work rules must be submitted to the Director-General of the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare or his/her delegate, who will have the power to order employers to rectify any illegitimate provision in the work rules within a specified timeframe.

However, in April 2017, the National Council for Peace issued Order No. 21/2017 regarding Law Revision for the Ease of Doing Business (the Order), which became effective immediately. The Order amends a number of provisions, including the provisions of the LPA regarding work rules.

According to the Order, employers are no longer required to submit work rules to the Director-General of the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare or his/her delegate. Therefore, the work rules will no longer be reviewed by the relevant officials at the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare as a matter of course.

Compliance

Notwithstanding this change, according to the LPA, it is still mandatory:

  1. for employers with ten or more employees to have work rules in place;
  2. for work rules to be in Thai language;
  3. for work rules to cover certain prescribed matters;
  4. for the implementation of work rules to be announced within 15 days from the date an employer has employed at ten or more employees;
  5. for a copy of work rules to be kept at employers' place of business or office at all times; and
  6. for a copy of work rules to be disseminated and posted in the work place where it is easily accessible to employees.

Failure to act in compliance with the above work rules requirements under the LPA can expose employers to a fine of up to THB20,000.

Herbert Smith Freehills can assist you with achieving compliance. To discuss how, please contact Fatim Jumabhoy.

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