New Amendment to the Thai’s Labour Protection Act – WFH Arrangements
Labour Protection Act (No. 8) B.E. 2566 (“LPA”) was published in the Government Gazette on 19 March 2023 and will be in force after 30 days therefrom. This new amendment outlines the arrangement for the employee and employer to work from home or other places outside the place of business or office of the employer. A newly added Section, 23/1 of the LPA, provides the framework of a work-from-home arrangement.
Section 23/1 prescribes that a general arrangement in working from home or other places outside the employer’s workplace or via electronic tools requires an agreement. Whether in the form of writing or electronic data format that is accessible and retrievable, which may consist of the following:
1. Period of work.
2. General working days and hours, break times and overtime working.
3. Conditions of overtime and holiday working, including types of leaves.
4. The Employee’s scope of work and the employer’s supervision or control.
5. Responsibility for arranging working tools and equipment, including necessary costs relating to the work.
At the end of working hours, as agreed by the employee and employer, the employee has the right to refuse contact with the employer by any means except where prior written consent by the employee is provided. Also, the employees who work according to this agreement shall have equal rights as employees who work at the place of business or office of the employer.
Most business operators have adopted the work-from-home or work-from-anywhere policy, not only during the pandemic but until now, to promote and improve their employee’s work-life balance. This amended LPA has been released to explicitly clarify the previous doubly and arguably labour cases under the old LPA. It also aims to set only suggestions, not the requirement or prohibitions imposed. However, the employer should consider preparing/amending the employment agreement to avoid and eliminate any further arguments during this work-from-home or work-from-anywhere trend.
Reduction of Withholding Tax Rates for Domestic Payment
On 10 March 2023, Ministerial Regulation No. 386 (B.E. 2566) was published in the Government Gazette, implementing the tax scheme in reducing the withholding tax deduction for payments made by corporate entities paid to a payee in Thailand.
This Ministerial Regulation stipulates the reduced withholding tax rates for the following types of payments under the Thai Revenue Code which were:
(i) Paid during 1 January 2023 – 31 December 2025; and
(ii) Paid via the e-Withholding Tax system
Please see the table shown above.