Employees’ Rights against Labor Malpractice in Thailand

As in any country in the world, the government of Thailand has established terms and conditions protecting the interests of both the Employer and the Employee. Thailand’s Labor Protection Act 2541 (1998) of the Department of Labor Protection and Welfare defines the rights of employees and the obligations of employers. Under the provisions of the Act 2541, all employers must define the terms of employment for their staff. Employers with 10 or more regular employees are required by law to specify working rules and regulations – a copy of which must be submitted to the Department of Labor Protection and Welfare and posted on the work premises.

The following rights of employees are defined in the Labor Protection Act 2541 which are usually violated by employers:

Normal Working Time

Employers that require their employees to work for more than eight hours a day or exceeding 48 hours a week are violating the terms under the labor Protection Act 2541.

Rest Period during Normal Work Hours

Any employer that does not provide rest period of not less than one hour a day after working 5 hours violates the provision concerning required rest period to be given by employers to their employees.

Weekly Holidays

An employer violates the employee’s rights if he:

    • Does not let an employee to have at least one day off per week as a weekly holiday or the rest day is given after 7 days of continuous working.
    • Does not include the weekly holiday in the basic pay of the regular employees.

Traditional Holidays

Employers violate the provisions of the employee’s rights if they don’t provide their employees with 13 traditional holidays including National Labor day. If a holiday falls on a weekly holiday, the employee shall be given an additional holiday on the following working day. The employers should pay the employees their basic pay on traditional holidays.

Annual Vacation

If an employer has an employee that has worked for one full year continuously, the employee is entitled to an annual vacation of not less than six working days. Employees working for less than one year will be entitled to an annual vacation on pro-rata basis. Failure to provide this will be in violation of the employee’s rights.

Basic Pay

An employee is entitled to get his basic pay not lower than minimum rate of basic pay as mandated by the government. If employees are paid below the base minimum rate of basic pay, the employers are in violation of the basic pay rights of the employees.

Overtime Pay, Holiday Pay and Holiday Overtime Pay

An employer may require an employee to work overtime or on holidays as necessary to the continuous performance of work but should pay overtime rate. By law, employers may require an employee to work on holiday if business is that of a hotel, theater, transport, restaurant, café, club, society, medical establishment or such other businesses as prescribed by the Ministerial Regulations with consent of the employee for each instance.
Employers that require employees to work overtime on a working day and do not pay overtime at the rate of not less than one and a half times the rate of the hourly basic pay earned in normal working hours for the overtime hours worked, or not less than one and half times the rate for each unit of output on a working day for employees who receive basic pay upon output. If the overtime coincides with a holiday, the employer shall pay holiday overtime pay on holidays to the employee of not less than treble basic pay rate earned per hour or per unit of output on a normal working day.

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