Part 1 – Key Aspects of Workmen’s Compensation Act
In this article, we shall examine key aspects in the Workmen’s Compensation Act (the “Act”) including the rights and obligations that this legislation imposes on employers as well as who the Act applies to and in what situations can an employee claim for compensation.
Who does this Act apply to?
Under this Act an ‘employee’ is defined as being ‘a person agreeing to work for an employer in return for wages regardless of their work title or designation but it does include an employee who is employed in a domestic work capacity i.e. a house maid. ‘Employer’ is defined as being a person agreeing to accept an employee for work by paying them wages and includes a person entrusted by an employer to act on their behalf. However if an employer is a juristic person this definition includes a person authorized to act on behalf of the juristic person as well as a person entrusted by such authorized person to act thereon.
Readers should be aware that this Act contains provisions which stipulate that it doesn’t apply to Central, Provincial and Local Administration, State Enterprises according to the law on State Enterprises as well as employers who operate private school business under the law on Private Schools, this law doesn’t apply to teachers and headmasters at such private schools.
Employers should also be mindful that according to this legislation an employer is not required to pay compensation to employees who suffer injuries or sickness which are caused by the employee losing self- control as a result of consuming alcohol or becoming addicted or causing self-injury or allowing another person to cause them suffering from injuries. Moreover, an employer’s liability under this Act only extends to the situations where the injury or sickness arises from their employee protecting their interests or their employee acting under their command/instructions; hence if an employee suffers an injury on the weekend while they are at home which is not related to their work then their employer will not be liable to pay any of the liabilities as specified under including medical expenses etc.
This legislation is designed to protect employees who suffer from injuries or sickness given that according to the Act an employer is legally required to provide immediate medical treatment for their sick or injured employees but their liability under the law is currently capped at one million Baht; however employers should be aware that the size of a medical treatment payment will depend on the severity of the sickness or injury sustained by the employee. In relation to payment of medical expenses these are to be paid when the employee or their representative informs the employer.
Industrial Rehabilitation of Employees:
If an employee suffers injuries or sickness when working or protecting the interests of their employer then their employer is required to pay the following:
Medical Rehabilitation Expenses - Expenses related to their industrial rehabilitation such as physiotherapy, provision of artificial limbs, crutches, leg braces etc that are required for the rehabilitation of the injured or sick staff member. The expenses payable by an employer for Industrial Rehabilitation are to be paid in a single lump-sum payment. The amount of expenses payable by the employer will depend on the type of work that the employee does but in any case the expenses are capped at a maximum of 20,000 Baht per incident sustained by the employee.
Medical Rehabilitation through Surgery/Operation - Expenses related to surgery/ operations on the sick/ injured employee however these expenses are currently capped at a maximum of 20,000 Baht per incident sustained by the employee.
Funeral Expenses of a Deceased Employee:
In the case of an employee suffering from injuries or sickness which results in their death or disappearance, the law provides that their employer is required to pay funeral expenses to the person who proves that that have arranged the funeral of the person. These expenses are capped at one hundred times the highest rate of the minimum daily wages under the Labour Protection Act, i.e. 100 x 300 Baht which is 30,000 Baht. However, if an employee suffers from injuries or sickness causing death but such employee has no person to arrange their funeral then the law requires that the employer make funeral arrangements until either the parents, spouse or children (in certain circumstances) make a request to administer the funeral of the deceased employee, however if none of the above persons come forward within seventy two (72) hours of the death of the person to oversee the funeral then the employer is responsible for making the funeral arrangements of the deceased employee according to the religious beliefs of the deceased or local customs taking into consideration the social conditions of the employee, in this respect the employer is responsible for paying the remaining funeral expenses.
If an employee suffers from injuries or sickness or otherwise disappears, the employer is required to pay a monthly indemnity to the employee or if they die to the parents, spouse and children (in certain circumstances) or if none of the above exist then to the financial dependents of the deceased employee. This monthly indemnity is subject to the following conditions:
- 60% of the monthly wages if the employee is unable to work for more than 3 consecutive days with such payment to start from the first day that the employee is unable to work until and throughout the period of time they are unable to work but not exceeding one (1) year.
- 60% of monthly wages if the employee has lost certain specified body organs. This indemnity payment shall be made according to the category of lost organs and the period of time as specified under the announcement of the Ministry of Labour & Social Welfare but such payments shall not exceed ten (10) years. However, if the employee dies before the 10 year period expires then the employer must pay the indemnity to the parents, spouse and children (in certain circumstances) or if none of the above exist then to the financial dependents of the deceased employee but such payments to these other persons shall not exceed eight (8) years.
- 60% of monthly wages if the employee suffers from a disability. This indemnity payment shall be made according to the category of disability and the period of time as specified under the announcement of the Ministry of Labour & Social Welfare but such payments shall not exceed fifteen (15) years. However, if the employee dies before the 15 year period expires then the employer must pay the indemnity to the parents, spouse and children (in certain circumstances) or if none of the above exist then to the financial dependents of the deceased employee but such payments to these other persons shall not exceed eight (8) years.
- 60% of monthly wages if the employee dies or disappears. This indemnity payment shall not exceed eight (8) years in duration.
Should you require any legal support relating to Thai labour law or workers compensation claims then please contact us at Dharmniti Law Office Co., Ltd. 2/2 Bhakdi Building 2nd Floor, Witthayu Road, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: (66) 2680 9777 Fax: (66) 2680 9711 Email: ryan [at] dlo.co.th or info [at] dlo.co.th
Writer: Ryan Crowley- Foreign Services Manager at Dharmniti Law Office