Employment

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Contacts
T: +84 24 3772 5567
T: +855 23 964 210

T: +856 21 262 355
T: +66 2056 5995
T: +95 1 8255 208

Business conditions, labor sentiment, and new opportunities evolve swiftly in the growing economies of Southeast Asia. Tilleke & Gibbins helps employers navigate these shifting legal landscapes by providing advice on labor law and employment matters that is timely and time-tested, innovative and practical.

Our first goal is to help employers formulate long-term, yet flexible, strategies on conditions of employment, staff restructuring, labor-management relations, and other critical employment issues. By helping employers create a positive work environment, we help companies save recruitment and litigation costs, react to changing labor conditions, and attract and keep talented employees.

When conflict cannot be avoided, Tilleke & Gibbins brings or defends our clients’ employment claims in court. We combine the strength of our dispute resolution and litigation team with the expertise of our employment attorneys.
     
We offer the following services: 

  • Strategic Employment Advice: Conditions of employment, work rules and regulations, employment agreements, benefit plans, executive compensation, labor protection, workers’ compensation, social security, provident funds, and safety issues 
  • Commercial Transactions: Issues related to labor expansion, contraction, and integration due to mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring 
  • Labor-Management Relations: Conflicts in the workplace, strike management and control, lockouts, and labor demands 
  • Immigration: Work permits, visas, and permanent residence permits
  • Employment and Labor Litigation: Enforcement of restrictive covenants related to competition and trade secrets, termination of employment claims, and sexual harassment claims 

Read about some of our recent victories below. We have:

  • Assisted a client in its global restructuring, which required a reduction in the headcount of its Thai operations. The client sought our expertise in reducing the number of employees, while avoiding the potential for litigation relating to unfair termination. We crafted a multi-tiered solution involving voluntary resignation packages that employees would happily accept. As part of this solution, we advised the client on strategies for communicating with its employees regarding the restructuring. Ultimately, the client met its goal in headcount reduction and continues to operate in Thailand.

  • Developed a restructuring strategy to effect proportionate employee terminations at the intermediate management level for a  multinational financial services company. The restructuring would also give greater responsibility to senior managers. This created the dual objectives of (1) negotiating fair severance packages for intermediate-level management personnel in the face of strict labor laws and (2) imposing greater work requirements on senior-level managers without incurring claims of effective termination. We were successful in implementing the changes without any employee objection, and today our client’s employee culture is much improved.

  • Negotiated a favorable settlement of a highly contested termination of a company director involving our client, the director, and the company of the spouse of the director. The dispute included two criminal cases and two civil cases (one of which involved a claim of THB 20,000,000). We successfully gathered evidence of the director’s misconduct and leveraged that evidence to secure a favorable settlement for our client.

  • Prevailed in a highly publicized termination case wherein the client sought court permission to terminate the president of a labor union based on her television appearance while wearing a controversial T-shirt. The president maintained that she had given such interview on her own time and that her actions were protected by the Constitution. Although she was supported by many NGOs, the court ruled in favor of our client.

  • Defended a leading apparel company in a THB 50,000,000 labor claim and in a criminal case brought against the client’s director. We prevailed in both claims brought by the client’s former HR manager.

  • Advised a global telecommunications company on various labor and employment matters. Among them, we helped this client to rationalize a broad range of global employment policies. In addition, we consulted on the many issues inherent to multi-jurisdictional expatriate employment matters.

  • Concluded a case involving an employee safety allegation by a governmental authority against a multinational corporation.

  • Planned the layoff of approximately 1,000 persons and created a multifaceted strategy to manage the response of the employees and the labor union. The labor union mounted a strong challenge to our client’s activities. Nonetheless, we successfully responded to the opposition and completed the downsizing of the company without any employee claim.

  • Represented a manufacturer in negotiations with a labor union on strike. We successfully negotiated the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and, thus, expedited the conclusion of the strike. In the CBA, we secured favorable terms for our client and the return of certain management rights.

  • Advised a leading high-tech company on HR matters, including drafting labor contracts, registering new staff members, preparing documents for employment termination, and registering staff resignations.

  • Prevailed in a labor dispute wherein a managerial-level employee claimed that he had been wrongfully terminated and sought severance and other monetary entitlements. Representing the employer, we proved that the employee had in fact resigned from the company.

  • Planned and executed the layoff of 1,900 employees. Thereafter, 279 of the affected employees submitted claims against the client in the total amount of THB 300,000,000. We successfully proved that our client had cause to terminate its employees and that such was done fully within applicable Thai law, resulting in judgment in our client’s favor. This was a high-stakes matter because, if we had lost the labor cases, the approximately 1,600 additional employees would have filed claims totaling approximately THB 2,000,000,000. We also act as ongoing labor compliance counsel.

  • Obtained a favorable judgment for the Thai affiliate of a leading animal health company in a case filed against a group of former executives who left to work for our client’s chief competitor. We secured this successful result even though there is still debate among Thai legal scholars as to whether noncompetition clauses are fair to employees.

  • Advised a multinational computer components manufacturer in Vietnam on the labor and workforce implications of its acquisition of a key supplier’s manufacturing facilities.

  • Consulted an international logistics services company in Vietnam on employee transfer and retention issues arising from the acquisition of its logistics services subsidiary.

  • Advised, negotiated, and successfully concluded several executive separations for numerous top-tier companies in Vietnam. 

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July 3, 2020

Asialaw Awards 2020: Tilleke & Gibbins Nominated for Three National Firm of the Year Awards

Tilleke & Gibbins has been nominated for three Firm of the Year Awards at the third Asialaw Regional Awards—an Asia-wide awards ceremony recognizing the best law firms across the region. The...

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June 22, 2020

Penrurk Phetmani to Deliver Webinar on Resolving COVID-related Visa and Work Permit Issues

Penrurk Phetmani

On June 24, Penrurk Phetmani, attorney-at-law in Tilleke & Gibbins' Bangkok office, will provide an overview of...

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June 5, 2020

Yuwadee Thean-ngarm and Nada Songsasen to Join TBAM’s Myanmar Update #6: COVID-19

Nada Songsasen, Yuwadee Thean-ngarm

On June 10, Yuwadee Thean-ngarm, director of Tilleke & Gibbins’ Yangon office and secretary-general of the Thai...

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June 1, 2020

Tilleke & Gibbins and TLCA to Cohost Webinar on Investment in CLMV

Yuwadee Thean-ngarm, Waewpen Piemwichai, Jay Cohen, Dino Santaniello

On June 4, Tilleke & Gibbins and the Thai Listed Companies Association (TLCA) will cohost a webinar to offer insights to Thai investors on the impact of COVID-19 on investment into Cambodia,...

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May 28, 2020

Tilleke & Gibbins Named Visionary Client Service Law Firm of the Year

Tilleke & Gibbins is proud to have been named Visionary Client Service Law Firm of the Year – Asia at the 2020 Counsels of the Year Awards, hosted by the Asian-Mena Counsel  ...

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November 3, 2020

Employment in Myanmar during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Nada Songsasen

Many Thai and international companies have expanded rapidly into Myanmar in recent years, in what had seemed to be an unstoppable expansion of cross-border trade resulting from the country's...

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October 6, 2020

Transfer of Employment under Thai Labour Laws

Pimvimol (June) Vipamaneerut

Amendments to Thailand's Labour Protection Act (LPA) on May 5, 2019, ushered in significant changes to a variety of labour laws, resulting in increased statutory severance pay, increased maternity...

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September 15, 2020

Thailand: Risk of Trade Secret Misappropriation While Working from Home Continues

Alan Adcock

With many employees in Thailand working outside their company’s normal IT security fence, their increased use of their own computers and devices instead of those in their offices with standard or...

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September 15, 2020

Understanding wages and allowances when calculating severance and other payments

Chusert Supasitthumrong

After the COVID-19 outbreak, a number of business operators were forced to react to the situation by reducing the number of workers or staff they employed. For the labour...

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September 8, 2020

Thai Government Announces Second Phase of Reductions to Social Security Fund Contributions

Auradee Pantumkomon Wongsaroj, Pimvimol (June) Vipamaneerut

A new notification from the Thai government will introduce a second phase of reductions to required Social Security Fund (SSF) contribution rates. The new notification will...

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