Thailand updates on Work From Home Bill: New Labour Protection Act (No.8) B.E. 2566 (2023)
It has been almost one year since “Work from Home Bill” was proposed to the parliament. Now, the Labour Protection Act (No. 8) B.E. 2566 (2023) (the amended LPA) has been enacted and recently published in the Royal Gazette on 19 March 2023. The amended LPA will come into force 30 days after the publication date (i.e., 18 April 2023).
The purpose of this amendment is to align a specific provision of the LPA with the new trend of work from home and hybrid working following the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the amended LPA, the employer and the employee may agree to allow the employee to work remotely, outside the employer's place of business or outside the employer's office. This is to promote the employee's quality of life and work and for the benefit of the employer's business operations, as well as to help rectify traffic problems and reduce the use of energy and fuel.
The new provision would require any employer to follow the law, as the unofficial English translation of Section 23/1 is as follows:
Section 23/1 “For the benefits of business operations of employers and for promoting the quality of life and the working of employees, or in the case of necessity where the employer and the employee may agree to allow the employee to bring works duly hired or as agreed with the employer which are of a nature or a condition that the employee can perform such works outside the place of business or outside the office of employer conveniently, the employee may bring said works to work at home or residence of the employee, or it may be agreed that the employee is allowed to work via the use of information technology at any place.
The agreement under paragraph one shall be made by the employer in writing or in electronic data format which can be accessible and recoverable without a change in meaning, whereby it may be agreed that the following details be included:
- The beginning period and the ending period of the agreement.
- The day, normal work hours, rest time, and overtime work.
- The criteria on overtime work and work on holidays, including categories of leave of absence.
- The scope of work of the employee and the control or supervision of work of the employer.
- The obligations and duties relating to the procurement of work tools or equipment, including necessary expenses owing to work.
When the normal work time ends as agreed upon by the employer and the employee or the work ends according to that assigned by the employer, the employee is entitled to deny making contacts by whatever means with the employer, the supervisor, the overseer, or the work inspector, except where the employee has given consent thereto, which must be made in writing in advance.
The employee who works at their home or residence or works via the use of information technology at any place shall be entitled to the rights in the same manner as those of employees working at the place of business or the office of the employer.”