Under the Labour Protection Act (“the Act”), an employer generally cannot force an employee to work more than the normal working hours set out in the employment agreement, or on a holiday.
Keywords: Mazars, Thailand, Legal, Labour Protection Act, Ministerial Regulations, Overtime hours
11 November 2019
However, an employer may require an employee to work overtime without the employee’s consent in the following cases:
1. Work which cannot be interrupted, where interruptions may result in damages
2. Urgent work
3. Work prescribed by Ministerial Regulations
Therefore, an employer who requires an employee to work overtime must obtain prior consent from each employee from time to time. The Act does not set out how consent should be obtained, thus this can be done verbally or in writing.
To provide further protection to employees, the Act empowered the Ministry of Labour to issue Ministerial Regulation No. 3 (2541 B.E.) setting out maximum hours for working overtime and on holidays, not to exceed 36 hours per week.
It is important to note that any agreements contrary to these requirements shall be invalid, and shall result in employers being subject to a prison sentence of no more than 6 months, or a fine of no more than 100,000 baht, or both, under Section 144 of the Act.
As a result, if an employer requires an employee to work more than 36 hours of overtime per week, regardless of whether or not the employee gives prior consent to such, the employer shall be liable not only to provide overtime pay, but to the criminal charges prescribed by the Act.