According to the current Labor Relations Act (“Old Act”) which has been enforced since B.E. 2518, its several provisions do not conform to the current labor relation conditions, economic situation and social welfare. Therefore, a draft Labor Relations Act B.E. …. (“Draft Act”) has been proposed by the Ministry of Labor to the Cabinet for its approval. The Cabinet had approved the Draft Act in principle on 5 February 2019 and that it was passed to the Council of State for its consideration and revision before resubmitting the same to the Cabinet for its reconfirmation. Then, the Draft Act will be submitted to the National Legislative Assembly for its final approval before publishing into the Royal Gazette and becoming enacted to be the law.
Significant provisions state in such Draft Act are as details below:
- An agreement relating to employment conditions has to be arranged in the corporate entities which have employees more than 20 persons. Such agreement relating to employment conditions has to be made in writing and shall include i.e. conditions of employment, wage rate, retirement age or the termination of the employment contract, etc. Employers have to register such agreement relating to employment conditions to the Director-General of Department of Labor Protection and Welfare or his commissioner within 15 days from the date that such agreement has been agreed.
- Once any labor dispute occurs, the complainant is required to submit in writing to the Labor Dispute Conciliator within 48 hours once the agreement can not be reached for its consideration and decision. Some important labor dispute which may create any effect to the public at large or economic and security of the country, such dispute needs to be submitted to the Labor Relation Committee for its consideration and decision.
- The employer is able to lock out or the employee is able to strike subject to the relevant rules and regulations.
- The employees not less than 10 persons have their right to request for setting up a labor union. Moreover, for the fairness and impartiality, a foreign employee is able to be one of the committee members of such labor union.
- Unfair act is to be defined under this Draft Act which includes termination of employment or any act which creates effect to the employee and that such employee is not be able to work with the employer because the employee is setting up the labor union, is to becoming one of the members of the union or is to becoming one of the committees of the union.
Author: Panisa Suwanmatajarn and Onnicha Khongthon