For immediate release on 10 May 2022
Four women employees from Myanmar receiving compensation plus interest
for the amount of 413,939.88 baht per the order of labour inspector
On 16 July 2021, the labour inspector in its order no. 301/2021 instructed the Jintai Packing (Thailand) Co., Ltd., the employer, to pay the four women workers from Myanmar the compensation based on each of their years of employment, for the amount of 367,030.38 baht plus interest incurred from failure to pay at 15% per annum, from 1 May 2021 onward.
The case has stemmed from the employer’s company’s announcement about the transfer of office of workers dated 1 April 2021, including the four employees who shall be transferred from being employed by the employer’s company to be employed by another company. It would immediately take effect since 1 May 2021. Only one employee conceded to the order whereas the other four did not move to work in a new company as indicated in the announcement. They have thus sought legal assistance from the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF). Our staff have accompanied the five employees to file complaint with the labour inspector at the Samut Prakan Office of Labour Protection and Welfare on 7 May 2021. After reviewing facts and evidence about the case, the labour inspector found the act is amount to any action by which the employer does not allow the employee to continue to do work and does not pay wages to the employee, regardless of whether the cause is the cessation of the employment agreement or another cause. Since it is the termination of their employment, the four employees are entitled to a severance pay and the employer is obliged to pay the compensation to the four employees. Should the employer want to bring case to the Labour Court to revoke the inspector’s order, they have to place a deposit with the court.
Later, the company has sued to revoke the labour inspector’s order with the Labour Court Region 1 (Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya) and the Court of Appeal for Specialized Cases. As the verdict was delivered on 16 November 2021 to disallow the plaintiff from extending the time to place the deposit, the labour inspector’s order no. 301/2021 dated 16 July 2021 which instructed the employer to pay the compensation was final. HRDF staff in our Samut Sakhon chapter have accompanied the four employees to file an application to collect the deposit placed with the court by the plaintiff on 5 April 2022 per the instruction of the labour inspector including the principal of 367,030.38 baht plus interest incurred from failure to pay at 15% per annum since 1 May 2021 for 311 days or 46,909.50 baht, altogether 413,939.88 baht. On 26 April 2022, the four employees reported that the financial office of the Labour Court Region 1 has transferred the due money to their bank accounts already.
Regarding this case, Acting Sub Lt. Watcharawit Wutthipatcharapa, lawyer from the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) states that the case involves the transfer, change and relocation of employees as a result of which the workers were employed by a new employer. It was not merely the transfer to businesses under the same employer. The employer is, therefore, obliged to seek consent from the employees and ensure that all the existing benefits and duties of the employee shall pass on to them in the new office. But if the employee does not consent to working with the new employer, and even though the existing employer does not issue a clear order to terminate their employment, but refuse to allow them to continue their work and deny them the payment, it is tantamount to the termination of their employment pursuant to Section 118, second paragraph of the Labour Protection Act BE 2541 in which case, the employee shall be entitled to a severance pay from the employer. And since the employer has failed to pay the compensation to the employee within the time they are supposed to pay them on the termination of their employment day, it is considered the employer has failed to pay the employee and is obliged to pay the interest at 15% per annum pursuant to Section 9 as well.
For more information, please contact Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF)