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Thailand: Thai ministerial regulations to protect domestic workers' rights approved

Thailand: Thai ministerial regulations to protect domestic workers' rights approved

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by IDWFED published Nov 08, 2012 12:00 AM
The ministerial regulations to protect domestic workers' rights had been approved on 30 Oct. According to the Thai laws, the implementation of the ministerial regulations can only be done once they are published in the Gazette. The regulations are currently on the process of submission to Royal Thai Government Gazette and will surely be implemented within this year.

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THAILAND -

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Ministry of Labour of Thailand

The ministerial regulations to protect domestic workers' rights had been approved on 30 Oct.  According to the Thai laws, the implementation of the ministerial regulations can only be done once they are published in the Gazette. The regulations are currently on the process of submission to Royal Thai Government Gazette and will surely be implemented within this year.

The recent ministerial regulations have terminated the previous regulations which limited the rights of domestic workers. The previous regulations had prohibited domestic workers to enjoy the rights’ protection according to Labour Protection Act BE 2541 in a number of sections. The major claim was the different nature of works of domestic workers to other occupations.


The recent ministerial regulations have extended the coverage to domestic workers:

  • They will have a weekly holiday of not less than one day per week.
  • They will enjoy not less than thirteen traditional holidays per year.
  • They are entitled to sick leave as long as he or she is actually sick.
  • Hiring domestic workers under age 15 is prohibited.
  • They must be paid for working in the following holidays: (1) A weekly holiday; (2) A traditional holiday;(3) Annual holidays.
  • They are eligible for sick leave with pay at equivalent to wages of a working day throughout the leave period, but not exceeding thirty working days per year.
  • If an employer requires an employee to work on a holiday, the employer shall pay holiday pay to the employee
  • If an Employer fails to provide a holiday for an employee or provides less than above, the employer shall pay holiday pay to the employee and holiday overtime pay
  • If an Employer terminates the employment without any fault, the employer shall pay wages to the employee for annual holidays in the year of termination equal to the proportion of annual holidays to which the employee is entitled, including annual Holidays.

However, some limitations remain including no minimum wages, no maternity leave, no right protection for termination due to pregnancy. Plus, the number of working hours per day has not yet been recognized in these regulations.

Ms Poonsap Suanmuang Tulaphan of Homenet, an organization working with domestic workers in partnership with the ILO, stated that the new Ministerial Regulation is cause for celebration. She further said that "This is a turning point for the protection of domestic workers and recognition of home-based work in Thailand, even though not all entitlements are included." She also noted the importance of creating public awareness about this regulation and recognizing the vital contribution that domestic workers make to Thai society.

The Tripartite Action for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (TRIANGLE) project has been promoting decent work for migrant domestic workers and was similarly encouraged by the passing of the regulation.  Project Coordinator, Max Tunon, said "We are very pleased that the protection has been extended to domestic workers and we are especially glad about the positive effect this regulation will have on a significant proportion of domestic workers who are also migrants."

Homenet estimates that up to 90 per cent of domestic workers are migrants. In 2011, there were 83,066 registered migrant domestic workers from Myanmar, Lao PDR and Cambodia, mostly women.

For more information, please check out the ministerial regulations (in Thai)

The first two pages are the ministerial regulations, while the last two pages are the highlight of the regulations contributed by the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare (DLPW).

Besides, Thai Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998): Selected Sections (in English) is also available.

Photo: Sam Sherratt/FLICKR

Source: ILO News

Story Type: News

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