Pregnant women’s rights at work in Thailand
Table of Contents
Thailand has a population of 64 million people, of which 32 million are women and 31 million are men.Thailand population, National Statistical Office : Thailand, available at : http://service.nso.go.th/nso/nsopublish/BaseStat/tables/00000_Whole%20Kingdom/1.1.1.xls Therefore, one could say that there is a high potential for female labour force participation in Thailand. Today, more and more women have to face the challenge of having a family and a career at the same time, and companies are sometimes reluctant to employ young or pregnant women. This article presents the situation of pregnant women at work in Thailand.
The Labor Protection Act
Thailand has issued the Labor Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998)Labor Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998), Department Of Labour Protection And Welfare, Ministry of Labour : Thailand, Chapter 3, Employment of Women in section 39, 39/1, 41, 42, 43, 59, available at: http://www.mol.go.th/sites/default/files/images/jpg/01.pdf to protect pregnant women at work, which states that an employer shall not require a female Employee who is pregnant to work between 22.00 hours and 6.00 hours, to work overtime, to work on a holiday, or to perform any of the following work:
- Work involving vibrating machinery or engines;
- Driving or travelling in a vehicle;
- Lifting, carrying on shoulders, carrying on the head, pulling or pushing loads that exceed fifteen kilograms;
- Working in a boat; or
- Other work as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations.
- A female employee who is pregnant shall be entitled to maternity leave of not more than ninety days for each pregnancy. Paragraph one stipulates that any leave taken shall include holidays during the period of leave.
- If a female employee who is pregnant and presents a certificate from a first class physician certifying that she is unable to continue in her duties, the employer shall be entitled to request the employee to temporarily change her duties before or after giving birth, and the employer shall consider changing her duties to more suitable work for such an employee.
- An employer shall not terminate the employment of a female employee on the grounds of her pregnancy.
- An employer shall pay wages to a female employee for maternity leave equivalent to the wage of a working day throughout the leave period, but not exceeding fourty five days per year.
Since the Ministry of Labour launched the Labor Protection Act B.E. 2541 in 1998 to protect pregnant women’s rights at work, employers and enterprises have been following the rules in a serious manner. Thailand is currently developing the Coverage of the Pregnant Women Act.Coverage of Pregnant Women Act, Bangkok Post : Thailand, available at : http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/299669/pregnant-migrants-to-be-sent-back-home Regulations for migrant women who are pregnant and giving birth in Thailand are also being drafted: they will be able to return to their home country and return to Thailand again if they wish to. However this can become a social problem: some foreign women workers who are pregnant do not want to return to their country. And some pregannt foreign women are forced by requirement to abort or to work outside of the system.