Labor Court Provisions for a Central Labor Court in Bangkok and for regional or provincial courts throughout the Kingdom were made in the Labor Court and Labor Court Procedure Act of B.E. 2522 (1979). The courts have jurisdiction over employment disputes and employee rights under the Labor Protection Law and the Labor Relations Act. The Labor Court also hears appeals stemming from arbitration decisions and direct requests from the Ministers of the Interior and Labor. The Labor Court deals with matters relating to employment agreements, labor protection and labor relations, appeals against decisions made by officials regarding labor protection and labor relations, and cases arising from employer or employee wrongful acts in relation to the performance of work or a labor dispute. Thailand protects the rights of employees under several pieces of legislation, the most notable being the Labor Protection Act and the Civil and Commercial Code. Other labor-related statutes include –
The Labor Relations Act
The Social Security Act
The Provident Fund Act
The Workman’s Compensation Act
Foreign workers are also covered by the provisions of the Alien Workers Act of B.E. 2551 (2008). These laws set out the minimum rights of employees, including working hours, compensation, work restrictions, welfare funding, vacation and sick leave allowances and holidays, among others. They also stipulate the grounds for employee dismissal or termination and the severance compensation due. Any violation of the various labor laws can result in an employee filing a labor case against their employer. The most common case seen by the labor courts involves unlawful dismissal or termination. In general, an employee will lodge a complaint regarding unlawful dismissal or termination first with the Labor Relations Committee. At this stage, the Committee will seek a solution that is agreeable to both the employee and the employer. If an agreement cannot be reached, and the Committee finds probable cause against the employer, it will recommend that the employee file a labor lawsuit. In some instances, if there is the presence of fraud, a labor dispute can be filed as a criminal case. In addition, in a case concerning an arbitral award in which a party refuses to pay or fails to pay compensation that was part of the arbitral award, the Committee can advise the affected party to file a criminal case. If the court determines that an employee was unlawfully terminated, it may require that the employee be reinstated to their former status. If the relationship between the employer and the employee has been damaged by the action so that reinstatement would not be feasible, then the court may specify damages that must be paid to the employee. In determining the amount of damages to be paid, the court will take several factors into consideration. These include the age of the employee, their length of service with the employer, hardship to the employee caused by the dismissal or termination, the reasons for the dismissal or termination and the compensation that the employee is legally entitled to receive.
Employment disputes – Thai labor law provides the grounds for an employee’s dismissal or termination and the provision of severance compensation. Any violation of the law is a cause for an employee to file a labor case against the employer. The most common case involves
illegal dismissal or unlawful termination. The employee must first take the complaint to the Labor Relations Committee to see if a compromise can be reached between the employer and employee. If this is impossible and the committee finds probable cause against the employer, it will recommend that a labor lawsuit be filed.
Although, some individuals choose to file a case without legal assistance, there is significant advantage to having professional representation. Legal experts at Juslaws will ensure that a litigant’s rights are fully protected and that all relevant claims for compensation are presented to the Committee or the Labor Court for consideration.