New Standards set to Protect Employee’s rights: The Amendment to The Labor Protection Act
by Panisa Suwanmatajarn and Onnicha Khongthon
As the current Labor Protection Act (the “LPA”) has been enforced since 1998 (B.E. 2541), it is now not suitable to the current situation and most importantly several provisions are not currently protecting employees’ rights fairly and properly. The Ministry of Labor, an organization who oversees such matters, initiated and then proposed to the Cabinet for consideration a draft amendment to the LPA.
The draft amendment to the LPA was proposed by the Ministry of Labor and it has been approved in principle by the Cabinet on August 15st, 2017. It will then be submitted to the Council of State for consideration and revision. Following the stage of the process, the revised draft amendment will then be resubmitted to the Cabinet for reconfirmation. After the Cabinet’s reconfirmation, the revised draft amendment from the Council of State together with related comments from the Office of Judiciary will be submitted to the Coordination Committee of the National Legislative Assembly for consideration and approval before publishing into the Royal Gazette and become enacted to be the law.
A number of key provisions of the current LPA have been revised under this draft amendment as detailed below.
- Adding a definition of “Remuneration” for clarification that the term “Remuneration” is not considered as a “Wage”. “Remuneration” means money paid by an employer to an employee as a compensation for work other than the wage and overtime payment on working date and holiday.
- Amending an interest rate in case that the employer delays in disbursing a payment in lieu of advance notice, compensation and payment in such cases where the employer discontinues its business from 7.5% to 15%. According to the Civil and Commercial Code, the current interest rate of suchabove mentionedpayment is 7.5% per annum.
- Adding a business leave with pay at least three days per year as this provision does not exist in the current LPA.
- Extending a scope of maternity leave to cover pregnancy check-up during the pregnancy period. The current (90) days maternity leave covers only the period after the baby has been delivered. However, the draft amendment will allow such 90 days to be covered both during the pregnancy period and the period after the baby has been delivered with the same 45 days payment as exists in the current LPA.
- Increasing severance payments for the employee, who works more than 20 years with the employer, upon being terminated of its employment to 400 days (currently 300 days) calculated based on its latest monthly salary payment.
- Expanding the term office relocation to include the case where the relocation takes place at another existingwork placeof the employer. The employer is required to make an announcement of such relocation to the employee in advance in a form that is prescribed by the Director-General of Department of Labor Protection and Welfare.
- Clearly specifying that in case of a change in the employer, it is required to obtain consent from the employee in that the new employer is required to accept all benefits that the employee receives from the previous employer.
The intention of this amendment to the current LPA is to improve working conditions of the employees. It also intends to prevent any labor disputes especially in cases of termination of employment between the employer and employee in which such disputes had always occurred in the past. We hope that once the amendment is enforced, it will create protection and promote the welfare of the employee while also decreasing the number of disputes in which have been raised to the court in the past.