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Basic Business Laws – 2

        There are fundamental laws relating to business practice in Thailand. These must be followed if companies are to comply with governmental regulations currently in place.

         We will begin with laws relating to female and child workers and then finish with statutory requirements for companies who employ 10 or more staff.

Female staff:

        All employers must be aware that it is prohibited from employing female staff in the following capacity:

  • Work on scaffolding that is more than 10 metres from ground level
  • The production or transportation of inflammable materials or explosives
  • Mining or construction work that needs to be carried out underground, underwater, in a cave, tunnel or crater of a mountain. The exception to this rule is where the work required is not hazardous
  • Additional tasks as prescribed under Ministerial Regulations

Female workers who are pregnant:

  • An employer is not permitted to allow a pregnant female employee to work between 22.00 and 06.00 hours, to work overtime or to work on national holidays
  • To work on Plant machinery or equipment that vibrates
  • To operate or be a passenger on a mechanically propelled vehicle
  • Pregnant employees must not be required to lift, carry or bear on their head or shoulders, or to push or pull items that weigh more than 15 kilograms
  • Be employed on water-going vessels
  • Additional tasks as prescribed under Ministerial Regulations

       An employer cannot terminate employment of a female on the grounds that she is pregnant.

Child labour:

  • It is forbidden for any employer to give work to a child under the age of 15 years
  • If an employer employs a child who is under the age of 18 years the employer must notify the labour inspector of such employment within 15 days of the child’s starting date and in the event of termination of a child’s employment the employer must notify the labour inspector of this fact within 7 days of the termination date
  • The employer must arrange for child employees to have uninterrupted rest periods each day of no less than 1 hour during the first 4 hours of work and arrange for other appropriate rest periods throughout the working day
  • Unless permission has been granted by the Director-General an employer is prohibited from making a child employee work between 22.00 and 06.00 hours
  • A child employee is prohibited from working overtime or working on national holidays
  • An employer is prohibited from giving the following types of employment to a child employee (A comprehensive list of each point is available as per Ministerial Regulations):
  • Smelting, blowing, casting or rolling metal
  • Stamping metal
  • Any work involving adverse conditions such as extreme heat, cold, vibration, noise or under abnormal lighting
  • Working with hazardous chemicals
  • Working with poisonous micro-organisms. This includes virus, bacteria, fungus or other micro-organisms
  • Working with toxic materials, explosives or inflammable materials. The exception to this rule is working at a Gasoline/Fuel station
  • Driving or controlling hoists or cranes
  • Working with electrical or mechanically operated saw’s
  • Underground, underwater, cavern, tunnel or crater work on a mountain is prohibited
  • Working with any radioactive material
  • The cleaning of engines or machinery while such are still in operation
  • Working on scaffolding that is more than 10 meres above ground level
  • Additional tasks as prescribed under Ministerial Regulations

Child employees – Forbidden establishments:

       An employer is prohibited from employing a child employee under the age of 18 from working in the following establishments:

  • Slaughter houses
  • Gambling houses
  • Dance Halls; these are classed as Thai-style dancing establishments
  • Establishments where food, alcohol, tea and other beverages are served and where the services of prostitutes, sleeping facilities or massage are on offer
  • Additional establishments as prescribed by Ministerial Regulations

          An employer is prohibited to pay remuneration of a child employee to any other person than the child employee themselves.

         An employer is prohibited from demanding or taking a deposit for any reason whatsoever from a child employee.

        A child employee has the right to leave their place of work to attend any events held by educational institutes, or a government or private agency that is approved by the Director-General. This includes such things as training, seminar or meeting sessions. During this absence, the employer is duty bound to pay the basic pay of the child employee in respect of leave of absence for up to 30 days per year.

Companies employing 10 or more employees

        Any company employing 10 or more workers must have written rules in the Thai language. Copies of these should be given to employees and placed in obvious areas of the working space for easy referral. A copy should also be submitted to the Director-General’s Department of Labour Protection and Welfare.

        As a minimum, they should include details such as working hours and days, rest periods, holiday rules for national and annual leave, disciplinary laws, how to submit complaints, and the termination of employment procedures that include details of severance pay.

        Such companies are also requested to register and keep an updated list of all employee’s personal details, their current address, date employment commenced, details of salary and any overtime rates applicable as well as the date of employment termination where relevant. These records should also be kept in the Thai language.

Adhere to the basic business laws:

         It would be a good idea for one member of the management team to attend a seminar or take it upon themselves to completely familiarise themselves with the basic business and employment laws of the country.

By doing so the whole company structure will benefit. It will mean that any issues raised or concerns voiced can quickly be explained to the letter of the law and appropriate action taken.

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