Thailand recently passed a new law to enhance labor protection, increase work stability, and promote a better quality of life for employees by allowing remote work arrangements. Learn more about the new Work-from-Home law and its implications.
Thailand recently passed a new law about working from home (WFH) on March 19, 2023. The law changes some parts of the Labour Protection Act (No. 8) B.E. 2566 (2023). This new law will start on April 18, 2023.
The main goal of this new law is to improve the protection of employees and match international standards. It also allows employers and employees to have more flexible working arrangements. This change aims to increase productivity and give employees a better quality of life while also providing job security.
New LPA Section
The recently passed bill called the Work from Home Bill or Labour Protection Act (No. 8) B.E. 2566 (2023), changes the Labour Protection Act (LPA) to reflect current circumstances. The legislation introduces a new section to the LPA, allowing an employer and employee to agree in the employment contract that the employee may work from home or remotely through information technology. Employers must ensure that remote work agreements are in writing and may include details such as the period of the agreement, working hours, rest periods, and equipment arrangements.
The amended LPA grants employees who work from home the right to refuse contact from their employer or supervisor outside of working hours. Employers must also treat remote employees equally to on-premise employees.
There is still doubt about whether employers have a duty to allow remote work, since the phrase “may agree” suggests that they have the right to refuse.
Similar Laws in SEA
Several neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia have also implemented similar laws to allow for flexible work arrangements and promote work-life balance.
For example, the Philippines passed the Telecommuting Act in 2018, which grants employees the right to request remote work arrangements.
In Indonesia, the Manpower Law was amended in 2020 to allow for remote work, and Singapore has also introduced the Work from Home (WFH) to provide more flexibility for employees. These laws reflect a growing trend towards remote work and highlight the importance of balancing work and personal life.
The recent passage of Work-from-Home laws in Thailand and other neighboring countries highlights the growing trend of flexible work arrangements and the importance of work-life balance. These laws provide more options for employees to work remotely while also enhancing labor protection, increasing work stability, and promoting a better quality of life. As remote work becomes more prevalent, it is likely that we will see more countries follow suit and implement similar laws to support this trend.