Employment law is the body of legal rules which define the voluntary contractual relations between employees and employers. Areas of regulation include employee fringe benefits, payment of wages, payment of bonuses, conditions of service, workplace leave, and termination of service. Thai employment relations are governed by a complex system of different legal sources tied to both private and public law. You surely need an experienced lawyer when dealing with employment law.
The private law character of employment law is apparent in the provisions of the Civil and Commercial Code governing rights, obligations, and liabilities of employees and employers. Parties are in principle free to designate the law applicable to their employment agreement. The impact of public law upon employment law is discernible in five major acts that relate to the public aspects of employment relations. The legal framework in which employers and employees negotiate the terms and conditions of employment is governed by the Labor Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998) which sets minimum working conditions for the protection of the workforce and provides regulations on workplace safety. Second, the Social Security Act B.E. 2533 (1990) requires that all employers withhold social security tax from the monthly wages of their employees and forward these amounts on a regular schedule to the Social Security Office (in Thai: samnakngan prakan sangkhom). Moreover, a provident fund may be set up voluntarily between employer and employees. Both employer and employees contribute to the fund and, upon termination of the employment relation, the employee is entitled to receive a lump sum payment as the result of such contributions. Third, the Workmen’s Compensation Act B.E. 2537 (1994) in response to the high number of work accidents and occupational disease statistics, has mandated that employers provide compensation benefits for employees who are injured, sick, disabled, or die in the ordinary course of employment at the rates prescribed by law. Fourth, Labor Relations Act B.E. 2518 (1975) lays out a general framework of regulation in the area of labor dispute resolution in order to reduce employment litigation. The objective is to promote successful reconciliation between employers and employees. The Labor Relations Act also provides for the registration of trade unions with the objective of acquiring and protecting interests relating to conditions of employment and promoting better relationships between employers and employees. Finally, the Labor Court and Labor Procedure Act B.E. 2522 (1979) defines the labor court procedures and jurisdiction with respect to labor claims. In particular, labor courts hear disputes involving employment contracts and wrongful acts between employers and employees in connection with a labor dispute or in connection with the performance of work under an employment agreement. Decisions of labor courts are directly appealed to the Supreme Court, bypassing intermediate-level appellate courts. Since the majority of Thai workers are non-unionized, collective agreements do not contain significant provisions affecting employers and employees. Please contact our law firm to receive more detailed advice in contract law and employment law matters.