Legal implications of COVID-19 disruption for employers in Thailand

As the COVID-19 situation escalates, governments worldwide are imposing travel restrictions, mandatory quarantine procedures, and curfews and lockdowns in an attempt to slow the transmission of the virus. The Thai government has announced many measures to deal with the COVID-19 outbreaks, including ordering the postponement of the Songkran holidays and the temporary shutdown of portions of the public and private sectors.

The pace of this escalation can make it difficult for employers in Thailand to keep up with their legal obligations and rights. As Thailand and many other countries have either locked down their borders or instituted strict travel restrictions, an employer’s imposition of travel restrictions on its employees—a pressing issue only a week or so ago—is no longer a major concern. Instead, the more important issues are the recent announcements by the Thai authorities postponing the Songkran holidays, ordering the temporary shutdown of portions of the public and private sectors, and yet-to-be announced measures (at the time of writing) under a planned state of emergency. 

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Sasirusm Chunhakasikarn