On October 3, 2022, Thailand’s Ministry of Labour issued an announcement canceling the prohibition on lockouts and strikes, which had been in place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this cancellation does not apply to ongoing labor disputes already being considered under the interim arrangements, it will apply to all other labor disputes from October 5, 2022, when it was published in the Government Gazette. Lockouts and strikes are basic rights of employers and employees under the Labour Relations Act B.E. 2518 (1975). However, these rights can be suspended—as they have been since May 8, 2020, when the Ministry of Labour announced that all labor disputes that could not be resolved through negotiation must be presented to the Labour Relations Committee in lieu of organizing strikes or lockouts. The announcement referred to the necessity of such special administration during the COVID-19 situation in order to prevent possible negative impacts on both employers and employees. On September 30, 2022, Thailand ended its COVID-19 emergency decree and dissolved the country’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration. In light of this, the Ministry of Labour decided to end the requirement that unresolved labor disputes be sent to the Labour Relations Committee. The ministry’s cancellation of the prohibition will once again allow employers and employees to organize lockouts and strikes under the Labour Relations Act, starting October 5, 2022. For more details on this development, or for assistance with employment-related questions or disputes in Thailand, please contact Tilleke & Gibbins at [email protected]
or +66 2056 5555.