On 19 March 2023, the Labour Protection Act (No. 8) B.E. 2566 (2023) was published in the Royal Gazette, effectively amending the Thai Labour Protection Act B.E 2541 of 1998 (“LPA”) by adding Section 23/1 to provide the requirements for work-from-home or remote working arrangement. The new requirements are as follows:
For the interests of the employer’s business operation and to enhance the work and life conditions of the employee, or as necessary, the employer and the employee may agree on an agreement regarding work-from-home or remote working by electronic methods if the nature of work allows so.
In such cases, an agreement must be drawn up in writing or electronic form, with the minimum details as follows:
1) The duration for work-from-home or remote work by other electronic methods;
2) Daily working hours, rest periods, and overtime (if any);
3) Requirements relating to overtime and overtime on holidays and other types of leave;
4) Scope of work, measures of control and regulations concerning the work; and
5) The employee’s obligations in procuring the work equipment as well as other costs necessary for proper work performance.
An employee has the right to refuse any communication with an employer (including supervisors and others) after normal office hours or after completing work unless the written consent is obtained in advance.
Section 23/1 also guarantees that employees working remotely shall have the same rights with employees working on-site at the employer’s office.
This amendment was intended to provide a legal framework for work-from-home and remote working arrangements. Such a framework was not included in the original LPA but an amendment became necessary due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The addition of this provision to the LPA hopes to promote better quality of life and work for employees and for the benefit of the employers, along with the reduction of traffic congestion and conservation of energy and fuel.
The amendment shall become effective 30 days after its publication date, specifically on 18 April 2023.
For further information regarding the matter, please contact Kraisorn Rueangkul, Partner, Thailand, [email protected]