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Thailand Labor Law: Employee Probation Periods

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today, as the title suggests, we are going to be briefly discussing matters pertaining to Thailand Labour Law with specific emphasis on probation periods for employees working in companies here in Thailand.

The major thing to take away from this video, I think, especially for those coming from a western perspective, and frankly especially those coming from American jurisdictions, as this seems to be more prevalent in America jurisdiction than even other anglosphere jurisdictions or like European jurisdictions. Where I come from originally Kansas, Kansas is deemed a "right-to-work" state based on the type of legislation that governs employer-employee relations in that state. Specifically, “right to work” states basically mean for lack of a better term sort of a euphemism for employers can “pretty much fire you at will”; it’s an “at-will” employment jurisdiction. So when I was growing up and you had a job and  you weren't doing it very well, there wasn't much the employer really had to go through as far as formality to go ahead and see to it that that individual was fired. In the Kingdom of Thailand this is pretty substantially different and it is substantially different in so far as there are rules which govern being able to fire a Thai employee, it is codified in the Thai Labor Code and within the Thai Labor Code  there is a great deal of information with respect to how employers and employees interact, the rules under which that employee can be fired and when fired, rules with respect to things like severance etc. The thing to take away from this video is there is in many cases a probation period that an employee must undergo under which the employer does have a significant amount more latitude with respect to firing the employee than they have after the probationary period is expired. That being said, this is not to say it should not be assumed to mean that even within the probationary period this sort of “at-will” employment environment is in existence; quite the contrary. There are still rules with respect to notice periods on firings etc. That being said, if one has an employee that's working for them here in the Kingdom, they are Thai national or foreign national for that matter, Thai Labor Code covers foreign nationals as well as Thai nationals, but specifically speaking it does tend to only cover those with work authorization in the Kingdom, that being said, and moving forward those who have employees, those companies which have employees in the Kingdom if you have an employee in the Kingdom and you are within the probationary period, the initial 90 days of employment,  it is probably a pretty good idea if you really think that individual is not going to work out on a long-term basis, to get one's ducks in a row it is probably a good idea to contact a legal professional and again get one's ducks in a row with respect to taking the necessary steps to go ahead and put that person on notice and let them go with sufficient time that the least amount of resources are expended on the Company's part and the least amount of undue hindrance, it's not so cumbersome on the employee as they have to have time to go ahead and recover and find a new job etc.  So these steps need to be taken, the probationary period is important but again there are many, and again I have noticed especially in an American context, there are many who simply believe "oh during probationary period you know, it is sort of like at-will employment”. That is not exactly the case, there's another video on this channel where we discuss notice period in the probationary period, having to do with the Thai Labor Code a little more in detail but that being said it's going to really be determined on a case-by-case basis and the thing to take away from this video is at no point during the probationary period should the employment be viewed as a sort of "at will" type of scenario.