This guide provides a brief overview of wrongful, or unlawful, dismissal in Thailand.
When terminating an employee, there are a few regulations the employer must follow, such as paying severance pay and notifying the employee, or in the case of negligence or working dishonestly, the employee can be dismissed without notice or severance pay. However, wrongful dismissal of the employee can result in legal action against the employer.
Let’s find out more about wrongful dismissals.
Labour Protection Act
The Labour Protection Act applies to all employees and employers, except for the government administration and state enterprises.
The Labour Protection Act regulates both the employee and employer’s minimum rights by defining work hours, welfare funding, holidays, days of sick leave or education leave, overtime, and work safety.
The Act also regulates the end of an employment contract and the procedure to be followed in the case of wrongful dismissal.
What is wrongful dismissal?
A wrongful dismissal refers to when an employer terminates of lays off an employee in a way that violates the employee’s rights under the Labour Protection Act.
In case of violating the Labour Protection Act, the employer risks receiving a fine of between THB 5,000 and THB 200,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
The following situations are considered wrongful dismissals:
- Immediate dismissal without a clear and full explanation of the reason or the termination of the agreement without a serious cause nor severance pay
- Termination of the agreement without payment of the unused annual leave
- Termination of the agreement based on the (claimed) violation of the work regulations by the employee without any prior warning
Filing a wrongful dismissal claim to the Labour Court
If the employee wants to file a wrongful dismissal claim with the Labour Court, the employee must provide proof that one or more legal rights were violated because of the termination.
Section 49 of the Act on the Establishment of and Procedure for Labour Court states that in the dismissal case, if the Labour Court thinks the dismissal is unfair, it shall order the employer to reinstate the employee at the same level of wage at the time of dismissal.
However, if the court thinks that such employee and employer cannot work together, it shall fix the amount of compensation to be paid by the employer which the Labour Court shall take into consideration the age of the employee, the working period of the employee, the employee’s hardship when dismissed, the cause of dismissal and the compensation the employee is entitled to receive.
Employers may terminate an employee without cause, but severance pay must be paid to the employee.
The rates of severance pay are as follows:
|Employment period||Rate of severance pay|
|120 days but less than one year||30 days|
|One year but less than three years||90 days|
|Three years but less than six years||180 days|
|Six years but less than 10 years||240 days|
|10 years but less than 20 years||300 days|
|20 years or more||400 days|
If an employee believes that he/she is wrongfully dismissed and violates the employee’s rights according to the Labour Protection Act, they can file a complaint with the Labour Court. If you are looking for a professional team of lawyers, we recommend contacting Acclime.