All employers and employees fall under the protection of the Labour Protection Act of 1998 (except for the government administration and state enterprises). The Act acts as a minimum legal protection for the mentioned parties and defines their working hours, welfare funding, holidays, days of sick or educational leave, overtime, safety and more. Furthermore, it also contains the rules regarding the end of an employment contract and the procedure to be followed in case of a wrongful dismissal (one of the most frequent labour dispute).
In case the employment agreement was concluded for a fixed period of time, the agreement will take an end at that date automatically. If the agreement is applicable for an indefinite amount of time, both the employer and employee can end the employment agreement at any time if a term of notice and severance pay are taken into account and provided that the process is fair and clear. These are both examples of a fair dismissal.
On the other hand, the following situations can be considered as a wrongful dismissal:
Should the employer be found guilty of violating the Labour Protection Act, they risk a fine between 5,000 and 200,000 THB and/or imprisonment of up to one year. Many times, wrongful dismissal can be prevented by following the standard procedures, including giving an appropriate term of notice, awarding severance pay or dismissing an employee with a valid cause (to find out more information about wrongful dismissal, read our article here).
One way of resolving the wrongful dismissal from the employee’s perspective is to commission the Labour inspection Officer to investigate the situation directly at the workplace. Their authority enables them to collect any necessary documents that could contribute to settling the case.
If this step does not yield any results, the employee can then file a complaint with the Labour Inspection Officer of the locality, in which the employee is working or domiciled. After a detailed examination of the facts at hand, the Labour Inspection Officer will consequently notify both parties about the outcome of the investigation and whether the employee is entitled to receive any compensation. Should the dispute not reach a settlement at this stage, it then proceeds to Labour Court or even later to Supreme Court.
Overall, labour disputes do not require a presence of a lawyer, but with the whole process being in Thai and the complexity of the law, it is highly recommended to be assisted by a Thai lawyer. Contact us today to find out how our experienced Thai lawyers can help you and your case.
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