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Thai Law Insights

Work Rules: Evolution of Thai Law, in a Nutshell

Thuchchaba Kaewthongson


Under the Thai Labor Protection Act of 1998, as amended, work rules must be established in the Thai language by any employer having 10 or more employees, conspicuously posted at the workplace. The employer or business owner must keep photocopies of the work rules at the place of business or at the employer’s office, accessible to all employees or labor inspectors when required. The work rules per se are considered one of the employment conditions recognized by the Thai Labor Relations Act of 1998.

The above rule was in force for years: Employers with 10 or more employees, were required to inform employees as noted above and submit such rules to the Director-General, Social Welfare and Labor Protection Department (SWLPD). However, after the 2014 coup d’état in Thailand, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) at that time issued the ‘Order of the Head of the NCPO No.21/2560’ by virtue of Section 44 of the (Interim) Thai Constitution 2014, repealing the conditions imposed on the employer or business owner to submit the work rules to the Director-General of the SWLPD. The reason behind the repeal thereof is that the military government at that time wanted to ease restrictions to stimulate businesses and industries by waiving the required submission of the work rules. This order of repeal by NCPO was deemed to be lawful by the Council of State of Thailand (completed ruling: 953/2557 (2014)).

In addition, the Act to amend the Thai Labor Protection Act No.6 of 2017 made it possible for employers to electronically post the work rules in addition to posting them in the workplace. However, employers are no longer required to submit the work rules to the SWLPD.

Work rules under Thai law should include descriptions of work days, work time and break time, holidays, overtime and holiday pay, rules for leave, discipline and disciplinary action, employment termination, and severance pay, must be produced, posted, and maintained in order for all employees to access and the work rules per se are regarded as employment conditions. We can say that the work rules and relevant Thai laws governing them are recognized as modern labor laws per the minimum standards set forth by the International Labor Organization and others.