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Legal Insight / Labor Management / Amendment of Labour Protection Law in 2019(1) (Translated in English)

This is the translation of เจาะลึกกฎหมาย / การจัดการแรงงาน / การแก้ไขเพิ่มเติมบทบัญญัติกฎหมายคุ้มครองแรงงานในปี 2562(1) posted on 2020.05.18

 

As Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 has been implemented for years. By now, certain provisions are not getting along with the current circumstance and not properly covering the rights of employees. In addition, certain provisions need to be updated in accordance with International Labour Organization (ILO) regarding Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No.100) and Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No.183). The amended version of Labour Protection Act (No.7) B.E. 2562 has come into force since 5 May 2019. The purpose of the amendment is to improve an employee’s right protection and work life.

 

We will compare significant amended provisions (Labour Protection Act (No.7) B.E. 2019) with the former version (Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541) as the following items.

 

  1. Default interest (Section 9, paragraph 1)

 

Before : Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998) =>

 

“section 9 paragraph 1. Where an Employer fails to pay back a security in money under Section 10 paragraph two, or fails to pay wages, overtime pay, holiday pay and holiday overtime pay within the period prescribed under Section 70, or severance pay under Section 118, special severance pay in lieu of advance notice, or special severance pay under Section 120, Section 121 and Section 122, the Employer shall pay interests to an Employee at the rate of 15 percent per annum during the default period”

 

After : Labour Protection Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 (2019) =>

 

“Section9 paragraph 1. Where an Employer fails to pay back a security in money under Section 10 paragraph two, or fails to pay money upon contract termination without giving notice under section 17/1, or fails to pay wages, overtime pay, holiday pay and holiday overtime pay and other payment under this Act within the period prescribed under Section 70, or fails to pay for compensation when an employer terminates the business establishment under section 75 or severance pay under section 118; special severance pay in lieu of advance or special severance pay under section 120, section 120/1, section 121 and section 122, the employer shall pay the employee interest during the period of default at the rate of 15 percent per annum”.

 

Reason of amendment: to fix that the employer has to pay an employee defaulted interest in the rate of 15% per year for all financial default: guarantee security, pay in lieu of advance notice, wage, severance pay, special severance pay, compensation when an employer terminates the establishment, or other payment under this Act.

 

Sum up: In the former version, an employer is required to pay an employee the defaulted interest in the rate of 15% only when he fails to perform the following payments: guarantee security, wage, severance pay, and special severance pay. The recent amended version covers a wider range of the financial defaults including pay in lieu of advance notice, compensation when an employer terminates the business establishment, and other payment under this Act.

 

 

  1. Necessary business leave (section 34 and section 57/1)

 

Before : Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998) =>

 

“An Employee shall be entitled to leave for necessary business in accordance with the work rule of his or her workplace.”

 

After : Labour Protection Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 (2019) =>

 

“section 34. An Employee shall be entitled to leave for necessary business for no less than 3 working days per year”.

 

section 57/1. An employer shall pay an employee wage for taking a leave for necessary business under section 34 at a rate equal to the wage for working day throughout the leave period but not exceeding wage for three working days per year”.

 

Reason of amendment: To provide a minimum standard for necessary business leaves with wages payment of at least 3 working days per year to an employee.

 

Sum up: There is no necessary business leave with wages payment provided for an employee in the former version of Labour Protection Act. Additionally, an employer may not pay wages during such necessary business leave. In other words, an employer has sole authority to arrange necessary business leave for an employee; or, to make a mutual agreement with an employee on the number of such leave.

The amendment version clearly arranges a minimum of 3 working days of paid necessary business leave per year. However, there is no law specifying the definition of “necessary business”. In general, “necessary business” means the private business can be carried out by only one specific individual, no one else can replace him or her, such as registration of a marriage, renewing an id card or a driver license, and so on. An employer may specify in work regulation or employment agreement what kind of necessary business an employee is able to take such leave.

 

  1. Maternity leave (section 41 and section 59)

 

Before : Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998) =>

 

“Section 41. A pregnant female employee shall be entitled to maternity leave of not more than 90 days for each pregnancy.

The leave taken under paragraph 1 shall include holidays during the period of leave.

 

Section 59. An employer shall pay wages to a pregnant female employee for maternity leave equivalent to wages of a working day throughout the leave period, but not exceeding 45 days per year.”

 

After : Labour Protection Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 (2019) =>

 

“section 41. A pregnant female employee shall be entitled to maternity leave of not more than 98 days for each pregnancy.

The days of maternity leave referred to in this section shall include leave for pregnancy checkup before delivery.

The leave under paragraph 1 shall include holidays that occur during the leave period.

 

Section 59. An employer shall pay the wage of an pregnant female employee for maternity leave under section 41, at a rate equal to the wage of a normal working day, for the entire period of time the leave being taken but exceeding 45 days.”

 

Reason of amendment:

To cover a pregnant female employee’s maternity leave entitlement in accordance with International Labour Organization (ILO) on Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183); and to amend the leave entitlement to be more practical. To illustrate, a pregnant employee takes maternity leave in order to get the checkup and prepare herself for the delivery which should be deemed as maternity leave.

 

Sum up: The former version provides a pregnant employee the maximum maternity leave for only 90 days while the amended version provides 98 days. Plus, leave for checkup is also deemed as maternity leave. An employee still receives wages during such leave for not more than 45 days.

 

 

4.Severance pay (section 118 (5) and (6))

 

Before : Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998) =>

 

Section 118

 

“(5)  if the Employee has worked for an uninterrupted period of 10 years or more, he or she shall be entitled to receive payment of not less than his or her last rate of Wages for 300 days, or of not less than his or her Wages for the last 300 days for an Employee who receives Wages on a piece rate basis.”

 

After : Labour Protection Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 (2019) =>

 

Section 118

 

“(5) An employee who has worked for an uninterrupted period of 10 years period of 10 years but less than 20 years, shall be paid for the amount of not less than his or her last rate of wages for 300 days, or not less than his or her wages for the last 300 days for an employee who receives wage on a piece rate basis.

 

(6) An employee who has worked for an uninterrupted period of 20 years and more shall be paid for the amount of not less than the last rate of wages for 400 days or of not less than his or her wages for the last 400 days for an employee who receives wages on a piece rate basis”.

 

Reason of amendment: to add more severance pay for the employee who has worked with an organization for decades upon termination without fault as well as retirement.

 

Sum up: The former Act specifies the maximum severance pay for the employer who has worked for 10 years at the rate of normal wage for 300 days. The amended version adds another provision for the employee who has worked for 20 years to receive the wage for 400 days when termination.

 

The amendment version of Labour Protection Act (No. 7) B.E. 2019 specifies the ratio of severance pay by working year as follows,

 

Working Period Minimum Severance Pay
120 days – less than 1 year 30 days
1 year – less than 3 years 90 days
3 years – less than 6 years 180 days
6 years – less than 10 years 240 days
10 years – less than 20 years 300 days
20 years or more 400 days

 

Currently, Labour Protection Act (No.7) B.E. 2562 has come into force already. An employer should carefully review all the amended provisions in order to adapt their work regulation as well as to avoid possible labour controversy in the future.

 

However, all the amended provisions mentioned above is only a part of the Labour Protection Act (No.7) B.E. 2562. We will show you more comparisons in part 2 of this column.

 

Find out more interesting legal issues and labour management at https://gvathai.com/news. Facebook Page : GVA Law Office – Thailand Call: +66(0)2-116-9269

 

Surinthorn Pamornchokprasop

Sunida Mahapiroon