Thailand Labour Law – Warning Letter for Termination of Employment

One of the grounds for termination of employment of an employee with cause under the Labour Protection Act is repeated violation of work regulations, rules or orders which are both lawful and equitable subsequent to a written warning for which a previous letter of warning has been issued for the particular act. The letter will be effective for a period of 1 year from the date on which the employee commits the violation, not from when the letter was written. However, in case of a serious violation, a written warning notice is not required.

Section 119 (4) of the Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998) discusses the dismissal for serious cause of an employee who has committed a repeat violation of an offence for which a written warning has already been given, but does not give guidance for the form requirements for the warning letter itself based on the following:

  1. Prior to issuing the warning letter, the employer should first consider the work rules. If they contain a disciplinary procedure consisting of several stages which have to be followed step by step, the employer must follow each step.
  2. The warning letter must contain:
    1. Date of issuance of the warning letter;
    2. Name and position of the employee;
    3. A description of the behavior of the employee that constitutes a violation of the work rules;
    4. A reference to the work rules which the employee has violated;
    5. A statement that of the employee commits the same violation of the work rules again, the employer will punish the employee pursuant to the procedure in the work rules.

Furthermore, the employer should ask the employee to sign the warning letter as an acknowledgment. The employer can read the letter to the employee and ask 2 witnesses to sign the letter to confirm it has been read and that the employee refuses to sign. A letter from the employee acknowledging violations does not constitute a warning letter.

If the employee is a member of an Employee Committee formed in accordance with the Labour Relations Act, the employer may not discipline the employee, including by issuing a warning letter, even where there has been a determination of guilt. The employer must submit a petition to the Labour Court seeking an order approving the discipline of the employee. If approved, the employer may then proceed as described above.

In the event that the employer relocates its place of business in a way that essentially affects the normal living of an employee, the employer must notify the employee of the relocation at least 30 days in advance or pay an amount in lieu of the advance warning of 30 days’ wages. If the employee refuses to move and work in the new location, the employee has the right to terminate the employment contract within 30 days as from the date of being informed by the employer or the date of relocation, as the case may be. In this regard, the employee is entitled to receive a special severance pay at the rate of not less than the rate of severance pay.

In the event the employer terminates an employment as a consequence of streamlining the work units, production process and distribution service, due to an introduction or change of machinery or technology that reduces the required number of employees, the employer must notify the Labor Inspector and the employee concerned at least 60 days in advance of the date of termination or pay an amount in lieu of an advance notice, that is equal to 60 days’ wages to the employee. Moreover, the terminated employee will be entitled to the prescribed severance pay. In addition to that, if the terminated employee has worked consecutively for more than 6 years, the employee would be entitled to an additional special severance pay at the rate of not less than 15 days’ wages for each full year of service, calculated from the start of year seven onwards. However, the total amount of this additional special severance pay is limited to the equivalent of 360 days’ wages.

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