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Labour disputes in Thailand.

labour disputes

Labour dispute resolution services.

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).

Ending the contract without any cause.

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:

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    The immediate dismissal without a clear and full explanation of the reason or the termination of the agreement without serious cause nor severance pay
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    The termination of the agreement without payment of the unused annual leave
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    The termination of the agreement based on the (claimed) violation of the work regulations by the employee without any prior warning

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).

Legal actions.

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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About Acclime Thailand.

As a leading provider of corporate services, we specialise in covering everything startups and established companies need to successfully start and operate their new business in Thailand. By seamlessly navigating our clients through the complexities of Thai bureaucracy, we allow them to fully focus on their business and operate it with peace of mind.