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Thailand
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2013    

References
  • Labour Protection Act, B.E. 2541, 1998 [LPA]
    Date: 12 Feb 1998; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Labour Protection Act (No. 2), B.E. 2551, 2008 [LPA-No2]
    Date: 15 Feb 2008 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Labour Protection Act (No. 3), B.E. 2551, 2008 [LPA-No3]
    Date: 15 Feb 2008 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Labour Protection Act (No. 4) of December 2010, B.E. 2553, in force since July 2011.
    Date: 27 Dec 2010 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Labour Relations Act, BE 2518, 1975 [LRA]
    Date: 1975 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Civil and Commercial Code: Book 3, Title VI: Hire of Services, 1985, as amended to Code (No.18), B.E.2551, 2008 [CCC]
    Date: 2008 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Act on Establishment of Labour Courts and Labour Court Procedure, B.E. 2522, 1979 [ALC]
    Date: 30 Apr 1979 (view in NATLEX »)
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: civil/public servants; agricultural workers
Remarks:
  • The LPA (which is the main piece of legislation on termination of employment) excludes from its scope public servants and State enterprise employees (art. 4 LPA).
    Public servants and State employees are covered by the State Enterprise Labour Relations Act of 2000.
    Similarly, the Labour Protection Act does not apply to agricultural and home workers (see Ministerial Regulation No. 9 (1998) B.E. 2451 issued under the Labour Protection Act).

    - The LRA does not apply to the central administration, the provincial administration, the local administration (including the Bangkok Metropolitan and Pattaya City Administration), State enterprises (art. 4, LRA).


Notes / Remarks
A new Act amending the Labour Protection Act [Labour Portection Act (No. 4)] was adopted in December 2010. Those changes which deal with health and safety at work issues do not relate to EPL.


Types of employment contracts - 2013    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • The LPA does not regulate the duration of the probationary period.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
    Remarks:
    • See art. 118 LPA, art. 581 CCC and art. 17 LPA, as amended by LPA-No2 of 2008.
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: objective and material reasons
    Remarks:
    • Fixed term contracts are defined in art. 118 LPA in connection with the right to severance pay which does not apply to employees with a fixed-term contract.
      Pursuant to the same provision fixed term employment under is allowed for employment in specific projects which do not fall within not the normal activities of the employer's business or trade, and which required a definite to start and end the work, or for occasional work or for seasonal work. Such work must be completed within a period of not more than two years, and the employer shall enter into a written contract with the employee upon commencement of employment.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • No limitation on the maximun number of FTCs.
      According to art. 581 of the CCC, "if after the end of the agreed period the employee continues to render services and the employer knowing thereof does not object, the parties are presumed to have made a new contract on the same terms, but either party can terminate the contract by giving notice."
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 2 year(s)
    Remarks:
    • See art 118 LPA: Fixed term work must be completed within a period of not more than two years.

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: No
Remarks:
  • No general obligation to inform the employee of the grounds of dismissal except in the event of an economic dismissal (art. 121 LPA) and of a summary dismissal for misconduct (art. 119 LPA, as amended by LPA-No2 of 2008 (art. 18))


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): none
Remarks:
  • - Either party may terminate an employment contract of indefinite duration provided that notice requirements (or pay in lieu of notice) are complied with (art. 17 LPA, as amended by LPA-No2 of 2008 (art. 8)).
    - In addition, art. 121 LPA allows the employer to terminate the an employee due to the restructuring of the work unit, the production process, or the distribution or provision of services, resulting from the introduction or change of machinery or technology thus making it necessary to reduce the number of employees. In such cases, specific notifications requirements apply (see below under "Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons")
    - Lastly, the law authorizes disciplinary dismissals without notice. According to art. 583 CC, an employer may dismiss an employee who wilfully disobeys or habitually neglects the lawful commands of his or her employer; absents himself or herself from service; is guilty of gross misconduct; or otherwise acts in a manner incompatible with the due and faithful discharge of his or her duties.
    See also Art. 119 LPA, as amended by LPA-No2 of 2008 (art. 18)) which provides that severance pay is not due an employee whose dismissal arises because he or she:
    * has been dishonest on duty;
    * has deliberately committed a criminal offence against the employer; * has intentionally caused damage to the employer;
    * has violated working rules or lawful orders from the employer;
    * has been absent for three consecutive working days without justification;
    * has caused serious damage to the employer due to negligence; or
    * has been sentenced to imprisonment


Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; filing a complaint against the employer; trade union membership and activities
Remarks:
  • - The LRA prohibits as an unfair practice the termination of employment by the employer (art. 121 LRA):
    * on the ground that the employee is a member of the trade union;
    * of certain persons (listed below) carrying out functions of the labour relations machinery for certain acts related to the fulfilment of their duties; and
    * on the ground that the employees or the labour union are about to undertake such acts.
    The persons specifically referred to are employees, employees' representatives, committee members of the labour union or of the labour federation. The specified acts are calling a rally, filing a petition, submitting a claim, filing a lawsuit or negotiating it, appearing as a witness before or producing evidence to competent officials under the law on labour protection, the Registrar, labour dispute conciliators, labour dispute arbitrators, labour relations committee members, or the labour court.
    - On the prohibition of termination of employment on the ground of pregnancy, see art. 43 LPA.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives
Remarks:
  • - The employer cannot, except with the approval of the Labour Court, terminate employment of, or reduce the wages of, or punish a member of an employees' committee (art. 52 LRA). Such committees are set up by employees in establishments employing at least 50 employees (art. 45 LRA).
    - It is generally unlawful for an employer to terminate the employment or transfer the duties of the employees, their representatives, the committee members, subcommittee members, or members of the labour union, or committee members or subcommittee members of the labour federation, who are involved in the presentation, negotiation or reconciliation of a request to renegotiate an agreement on conditions of employment. Termination or transfer is, however, lawful if the persons concerned dishonestly perform their duties or wilfully commit a criminal offence against the employer; wilfully cause damage to the employer; neglect work for three consecutive working days without a suitable reason; or violate the rules, regulations or lawful orders of the employer, provided the employer has issued a warning in writing. The written warning is not required in severe cases (art. 31 LRA). The same protection applies to the same employees while an agreement on conditions of employment or equivalent award is in effect, with one additional category of permitted dismissal (i.e. when the employee commits any act of instigation, encouragement or persuasion to violate the agreement on conditions of employment or equivalent arbitration award) (art. 123(5) LRA).


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2013    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • Art. 17 LPA, as amended by LPA-No2 of 2008 (art. 8): The prior notice of termination shall be given in writing.

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • -Dismissal not based on economic reasons:
    See art. 17 LPA, as amended by LPA-No2 of 2008 (art. 8): " Where the period is not specified in the contract of employment, an employer or an employee may terminate the contract by giving advance notice in writing to the other party at or before any due date of wage payment in order to take effect on the following due date of wage payment, with no requirement for advance notice of more than 3 months".
    Therefore, if a worker is paid on a monthly basis, the notice period shall be at least 1 month.
    See also art. 582 CCC.

    - Dismissal for economic reasons:
    According to art. 121 LPA, the employer shall give at least a 60-day notice to the labour inspection when he or she intends to terminate an employee due to the restructuring of the work unit, the production process, or the distribution or provision of services, resulting from the introduction or change of machinery or technology.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • economic dismissal - 60 day(s).
      • monthly paid workers - non economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • economic dismissal - 60 day(s).
      • monthly paid workers - non economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • economic dismissal - 60 day(s).
      • monthly paid workers - non economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • economic dismissal - 60 day(s).
      • monthly paid workers - non economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • economic dismissal - 60 day(s).
      • monthly paid workers - non economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • economic dismissal - 60 day(s).
      • monthly paid workers - non economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • economic dismissal - 60 day(s).
      • monthly paid workers - non economic dismissal - 1 month(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Remarks:
    • See art. 17(3) as amended by LPA-No2 of 2008 (art. 8) and art. 121 LPA (economic dismissals). See also art. 582(2) CCC.

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Remarks:
    • However, the Labour Relations Act requires the approval of the Labour Court when the employer intends to dismiss (and otherwise punish or reduce wages of) a member of an employees' committee (art. 52 LRA).
      Such committees are set up by employees in establishments employing at least 50 employees (art. 45 LRA).

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2013    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    No statutory definition of collective dismissal (no number specified). The LPA only refers to termination of an employee due to the restructuring of the work unit, the production process, or the distribution or provision of services, resulting from the introduction or change of machinery or technology thus making it necessary to reduce the number of employees.

    Remarks:
    • Art. 121 LPA.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): No

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 121 LPA: the employer must inform the Labour Inspection Officer and the employees whose employment is to be terminated of the date of termination of employment, the reasons for termination of employment and the names of the employees not less than sixty days before the date of termination of employment.

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): No

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): No

    Priority rules for re-employment: No

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2013    

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    Severance pay:
    Remarks:
    • Art. 118 LPA
      The amount of severance pay depends on the length of service, as follows:
      - 120 days but less than 1 year: 30 days' wages
      - 1 year but less than 3 years: 90 days' wages
      - 3 years but less than 6 years: 180 days' wages
      - 6 years but less than 10 years: 240 days' wages
      - more than 10 years: 300 days' wages.
      This does not apply to employees who have a fixed term contract of employment and whose employment is terminated in accordance at the end of the specified term.

      In addition according to art 119 LPA, as amended by LPA-No2 of 2008 (art.18), severance shall not be paid by the employer if the dismissal was the result of a serious misconduct of the employee.
      (The LPA lists the following cases:
      "(1) performing his/her duty dishonestly or intentionally committing a criminal offence against the employer;
      (2) willfully causing damage to the employer;
      (3) committing negligent acts causing serious damage to the employer;
      (4) violating work rule, regulation or order of the employer which is
      lawful and just, and after written warning having been given by the employer, except for a serious case with no requirement for the Employer to give warning.
      (5) absenting himself/herself from duty without justifiable reason for
      three consecutive working days regardless of whether there is holiday in between;
      (6) being sentenced to imprisonment by a final court judgment")
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 30 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 30 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 90 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 90 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 180 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 180 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 300 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 300 day(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    Remarks:
    • See art. 122 LPA: In the event of termination for economic reasons (those listed in art. 121 LPA), an employee with at least 6 years of continuous service shall receive in addition to severance pay, a special compensation equal to 15 days' wages for every year of employment, with a maximum amount equal to 360 days' wages.
      With respect to this additional payment, a period of work of more than 180 days is counted as 1 full year of service.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 30 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 30 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 90 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 90 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 180 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 180 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 360 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 360 day(s)

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2013    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 49 ALC: If the labour court rules that the dismissal was unfair but considers that the cooperation between employer and employee has been disrupted beyond repair, the court may fix an amount of damages as compensation to be paid by the employer in lieu of reinstatement by taking into consideration the age of the employee, the length of service, the hardship of the employee at the time of dismissal, the cause of the dismissal and the compensation the employee is entitled to receive.

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 49 ALC: If the labour court considers that an employee has been unfairly dismissed, it may order reinstatement at the level of remuneration applying at the time of dismissal.

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 38 ALC provides that "when the plaintiff and the defendant appear in court, the labor court shall mediate the parties to reach an agreement or a compromise". If the parties fail to reach an agreement or a compromise, the labor court shall proceed with the trial.

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court; administrative body

    Remarks:
    • - Disputes regarding termination of employment must be brought before a labour court (see arts. 8 and 49 ALC)
      - However, if an employee was dismissed following an unfair practice (i.e termination on the grounds of trade union activities or membership), he may file a complaint with the Labour Relations Committee within 60 days of the violation (art. 124 LRA). This Committee will issue an award and an order within a further 90 days, The employee can also file a criminal complaint against the employer, but only after the Labour Relations Committee has passed an arbitration award and the employer has failed to comply with the Committee's order. (art. 127, LRA). An employer who violates the prohibition of termination of employment contained in the LRA (art. 121, 122 and 123 LRA on unfair practices) shall be liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months and/or to a fine not exceeding ten thousands Baths (see arts. 158 and 159 LRA)
      [The Labour Relations Committee is established within the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (art. 8, LRA) to settle particular labour disputes with an award. It is composed of between eight and 14 members, three of whom must be employers' representatives and three employees' representatives (art. 37, LRA).]

    Existing arbitration: No

    Remarks:
    • No information found.

    Source of additional information - 2013    

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    Links

    ILO Profile of National Legislation covering Termination of Employment (last updated in 2007) »