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COVID-19 Labor Regulation Compliance and Thai Companies

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing COVID-19 yet again. It seems to be a ubiquitous topic these days and we are discussing it specifically in the context of Labour Regulations and how this interacts with respect to companies that had to close, workers that were furloughed etc.

In a recent article from the Nation, that is nationthailand.com, the article is titled: Company Owners Banned from Closing Down Business During Emergency. Quoting directly: “Company owners are prohibited from shutting down their business while the Emergency Decree is in force while staff are banned from going on strike, a Labour Ministry Announcement published in the Royal Gazette website said.” Quoting further: “The Announcement enjoined both employers and employees to work strictly in line with the Labour Relations Act. Disputes on labour issues will be adjudged by the Labour Relations Committee.”

So, clearly there are Labour dispute issues that are coming up as a result of this COVID-19 shutdown and I think that this is going to be something that is going to be with us for the coming months as things come back on line. Employer /employee relations have to be smoothed out because things kind of dramatically just stopped over here. Things just shut down rather dramatically and folks were just thrown out of work; in certain circumstances they were furloughed with very little notice.  In many cases there has been some relief for those folks, for example the Social Security Scheme; I am not going to go into detail on that.

That being stated it has not proven to be a one-size-fits-all form of relief.  There are certain people that apparently do not fall within the criteria for being granted the relief and for that reason I think we are going to see Labour disputes arising in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown.

So, the thing to take away from this video is if you are a small business owner here in Thailand, if you are having issues with respect to Labour disputes arising as a result of the COVID-19 situation, it is probably not a terrible idea to contact to contact a legal professional, gain some insight into how this is going to operate post COVID-19 and try to basically do as much as possible to mitigate any legal fallout as a result of the overall Coronavirus shutdown situation.