Monthly Archives: October 2017

How Lawyers Can Help You

If you’re employing other people, there’s always a possibility that you may end up being involved in an employment dispute. In this article, we take a look at how a solicitor can help you to resolve employment disputes, should they arise.

The chances of being involved in an employment dispute can be minimised by ensuring that you follow the correct procedures when advertising vacancies, recruiting staff, drawing up terms and conditions of employment and making staff redundant. However, you may find that a member of staff is unhappy with an aspect of your employment and decides to take this further. Alternatively, you may be unsatisfied with an employee’s performance and decide to take action, in which case a dispute may arise.

Grievance and Disciplinary Proceedings

Most issues arising between an employer and employees should initially be dealt with through the employer’s internal grievance or disciplinary procedures. Therefore, it’s important that you provide details of these procedures in your company’s staff handbook and that all staff can access a copy of these easily. It’s also vital that your grievance and disciplinary procedures comply with current employment law, so it’s worth asking your employment solicitor to help you to draw them up and review them regularly.

If an employee decides to raise a grievance or you decide that you need to take disciplinary action in respect of an employee’s performance or behaviour, consult your employment solicitor as soon as possible. Your solicitor will be able to discuss the specific case with you and advise you about how best to proceed. By doing this, you can rest assured that you are complying with relevant employment law throughout the process.

Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration

Issues between an employer and employee are often able to be resolved during an internal grievance or disciplinary procedure. However, sometimes further discussions are necessary. There are three main processes available – mediation, conciliation and arbitration.

Mediation involves the employer and employee discussing the situation with an independent party, known as a mediator. The mediator can often help the employer and employee to come to an agreement without needing to take the dispute to an employment tribunal. Conciliation is a very similar process, also involving a mediator. However, conciliation usually takes place when an employee is considering taking his or her employer to an employment tribunal or has already made a claim to an employment tribunal.

The third process, arbitration, is similar but the independent party involved, the arbitrator, listens to both sides of the dispute and makes a firm decision about the case.

Many firms of solicitors provide assistance with mediation, conciliation and arbitration processes and these can be quicker and cheaper solutions to employment disputes than going to an employment tribunal.

Employment Tribunals

If you are unable to settle a dispute with your employees, your employee may decide to make a claim and take you to an employment tribunal. At an employment tribunal, the case will be heard by a panel which will usually include a qualified employment judge and the panel will make a decision and decide whether compensation should be awarded. Employment tribunals hear cases relating to a number of different types of employment issues, including unfair dismissal, discrimination and breach of contract. Decisions made by an employment tribunal are legally binding.

If an employee decides to take their case to an employment tribunal, you should consult your employment solicitor as soon as possible. Your employment solicitor will be able to discuss the process with you, help you to prepare your case and represent you at the tribunal.

This article is intended as a general guide only and provides an overview of some of the legal issues that may need to be considered. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. We recommend that you seek professional advice before taking action. No liability can be accepted by us for any action taken or not taken as a result of this information.

Employment in Thailand

The Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998) (“the Act”) applies to all businesses operating in Thailand. The employer/employee relationship is regulated under Thai law, including matters relating to the termination of an employee.

The main reasons why Thailand employers may consider payroll cuts by terminating staff can be summarised briefly as economic, poor performance or misconduct.

It is common in the Thailand legal environment that the Labour Court tends to favour the employee and accordingly it is extremely important that business owners in Thailand adopt correct procedures insofar as termination of their employees.

Termination Payment Calculation Summary

The following is a summary of the quantum of severance pay which must be paid by an employer to an employee under Thai law if Section 118 of the Act is applied. This is calculated in accordance with the employee’s length of service.

120 days but less than 1 year – 30 days pay
1 year but less than 3 years – 90 days pay
3 years but less than 6 years – 180 days pay
6 years but less than 10 years – 240 days pay
more than 10 years – 300 days pay
Exclusions to Payment of Severance Pay

A. Short or Temporary Employment Periods

Labour laws in Thailand afford business owners certain exclusions from the requirement to pay severance payments if the following conditions apply:
An employee has served the company for less than 120 days.
An employee whose employment is stipulated in a contract set for a definite period and the employment is terminated at the end of that period, if this form of employment is in compliance with the Thai labour laws and regulations (Section 118 of the Act).

Employment with a definite period is allowed only for the following categories;
Employment on a specific project which is not the normal business of the employer;
Employment for occasional or temporary work; and,
Seasonal employment.

A written employment contract is required for the above with clauses stipulating the commencement and completion dates. In addition, all tasks must be completed within two years.

B. Termination with Cause

Under Section 119 of the Act, there are certain exceptions which enable an employer to avoid the payment of severance to an employee and which are as follows:-

The employee performs dishonestly or intentionally commits an offence against the employer;
The employee intentionally causes the employer to suffer loss;
The employee causes serious damage to the employer as a result of negligence;
The employee violates the employer’s working rules or regulations or the employer’s orders which are legal and fair where the employer has already given the employee a written warning, except in a serious situation where the employer is not required to provide a warning;
The employee neglects to complete his or her duties by not attending work without justifiable reason for three consecutive working days; and,
The employee has spent time in prison by final judgement, with the exception of negligence or petty offences.
The exceptions to which employers are liable for severance pay are stipulated in Section 119 (1) – (6) of the Act.

If the employer terminates the employment contract of the employee for other grounds, the employee is entitled to receive severance pay.

Nevertheless, to terminate the employment of any employee on the grounds stipulated in Section 119 of the Act, the employer must provide a letter of termination to the employee with the reasons for termination. Note that in accordance with Thai law, the reasons provided must be real or relate to the actions for termination of employment.

Special Severance Pay

In the case where an employer relocates the place of business in Thailand which affects the normal living of an employee or his/her family, the employer shall notify the employee at least 30 days before the date of relocation. Thai law allows the employee to refuse to move and become entitled to receive severance pay. Failure to notify the employee may result in a special severance payment in lieu of the advance notice of 30 days.

With respect to the termination of the employment on the basis of reorganising the Thailand based business, production line, sales or services due to the adoption of machinery or technologies which result in a reduction of the number of employees, the employer has a duty in compliance with Thai law (Section 121 of the Act) to notify the employee as well as the labour inspector not less than 60 days prior to the contemplated date of termination. Failure to do so will result in a special severance payment in lieu of the advance notice of 60 days being paid in addition to the normal severance pay.

Running Employment Checking Yourself for Being Successful!

“Over 90% of companies run background checks on applicants”.

Unemployment is soaring. Many employers have already seized new hiring ventures and very few jobs are available. Despite a very modest improvement in recent months, the job market is still hovering around 9.5% unemployment, unthinkable four years ago. In most fields and industries, competition for the best jobs is almost overwhelming.

Is there anything a common job seeking person can do to stand out from the unemployed crowd? Actually, there is a way by which you can mark your primal success over your competitor candidate and how it’s going to be happen, when you run your own background employment check before applying a job.

The question arises in every job seeking mind that how running an employment check upon yourself might help in getting a prospective job career. So it is simply because, first it enables you to find out if any erroneous information is being reported about you. And second, it reassures potential employers that the qualifications you present in your job application are true and correct. A study conducted by a human resource and recruiting firm stated that as many as 44% of the resumes and job applications contain inaccuracies or outright deceptions.

Every single employer is now conducting a background check or employment check before hiring. The fact you have presented your own self-background- employment check suggests that a problem is not likely to crop up when the employer runs its own background check. In other means, it can double your chances for being hired as employer will not be able to uncover something which will cause him/her to have to disqualify you at end of hiring process thereby wasting company time and resources.

What’s more, as said, if by chance there is some mistake being made in compiling your background check, for example, a State is erroneously reporting you have a criminal record when if fact you don’t, running your own background check will alert you to this problem so you can take steps to correct it before an employer sees it.

Bottom Line: This may be a good preemptive strategy in today’s killer job market. But how do you go about it? Let’s have a look at it through these simple easy steps to opt for a employment check.

There are four essential pre employment background checks that you can run on yourself are as follows;

  1. Education: Pre employment background checks
  2. Credit Record or History Checks
  3. Employment Criminal background checks
  4. Social Security Number Trace

Education Background Check Made Easy:

Education background checks is one of the most essentials checks employers perform as employment checks. Strict credentialing practices are used to verify your university/college accreditations, your study time (attendance and date of admission/passing out) and sometimes your grades are also verified.

    • When verifying your own university/college degree, the first place you want to look is The National Student Clearinghouse. They run the automated database that provides degree verification very quickly.

    • Typically, colleges and universities provide education verification over the telephone. You can contact your institution administration/registrar office to confirm the accreditation of university/college with accreditation authorities. Then you can double check your admission/passing out dates as well as your grades.

  • If your institution cannot find your degree or the name on degree is changed to your current name, (an unusual situation, but it might happen), you have to take care of the problem. You will probably need to fax the school a copy of your diploma or any other documentation you have, to remove the chances of being debugged.

Credit Records or History Pre Employment Background Checks:

Be aware of what is on your credit report, especially if you think a prospective employer might check it. That way, if there are inaccuracies on the report, you can take steps to correct them.

Employers are very keen to know about your credit histories as it can easily predict your future in their organization. So it’s feasible to run a credit history employment check on yourself by adopting these four basic precautions.

  • Contact your bank and ask them for your credit report.
  • If you find any mistake or discrepancy, point out and correct it right away.
  • Make your bank to certify you for clean credit history.
  • After these 3 steps to resurrection, you can notify your prospective employer of the inaccuracies and of the steps you have taken to correct them.

Criminal Background Checks as Employment Checks:

Employers want to know about your background, and you can be assured that they will check to see if you have a criminal history.

    • The best source of a complete criminal background employment check is the Department of Justice for your state. If you have a criminal record in multiple states, you will need to contact each state’s Department of Justice. You can also get a copy of your criminal record from the court where your case(s) went to court.

    • These local records are found in courthouses and police departments, you can also look in specialized searches which include the Terrorist Watch List, the Federal Wanted Persons List, and Sex Offender Registries. Most of these records are contained in large databases that are updated on a regular basis.

  • Criminal background checks be best searched by hand at the county/states level, with full names, date of birth, should be used as much as possible to confirm a positive identification.

Social Security Number Trace

An applicant’s social security number is used throughout the pre-employment screening process, checking your validity of the number accomplish several things.

    • It confirms that the number belongs to you and it provides a list of current and previous addresses, as well as other names used.

    • Make sure each numeral is clearly written so no one has to try and decipher your handwriting.

    • If you had reason to change your SSN, provide both numbers and add a brief note explaining why you had to change your number. Also, indicate when you started using the newer SSN.

  • This verification also provides other last names associated with the SSN and a list of previous addresses.

Drawn Conclusion and Recommendations:

The strategy is simple. Get your own employment check report done, and then offer it to an employer as a way of reassuring him that you’re on the up-and-up. This is not at all an uncommon practice these days. You can attach a printed copy of your Self-Check Employment Screening Report to your resume.

Not everyone knows what happens during a pre-employment screening. In fact, most people know very little about it. So, Consider hiring a specialize pre employment background checks company or try to check your background online with authentic sources and public record portals, they are extremely helpful and can easily detect you out of everywhere; they are reliable, cost effective and time saving.

Transparent Employer’s Workplace

Employer Branding has taken on greater importance to Human Resources professionals over the past several years as talented job seekers exercise greater discretion in choosing their future employers. The information age has not only made it easier for consumers to research products before they buy, but also for job seekers to research companies before they apply. The best workers are no longer willing to just accept a job at face value. They will use the internet and social media to find out about a company’s workplace from current and former employees. Companies can no longer exaggerate claims about their employer value proposition on their websites, at presentations, or during interviews. Today’s job seekers will use their social networks to quickly verify a company’s claims. No longer can a recruiter or hiring manager simply “sell” only the good aspects of the job or workplace without being questioned by job seekers who want to know how the company is addressing the bad aspects.

For decades, companies have expected and required that job seekers be transparent during the application and interview process. Companies do not mince words when they state that any employment offer is contingent upon successful completion of a background check. It has always been assumed that the potential employee is the only one with the inclination to exaggerate their accomplishments – or flat out lie. For some reason, companies have not been held to the same standard by which they hold job seekers. Job seekers expect companies to be candid about their work environment as well as the duties of the job description. It should be an accepted practice that candidates receiving job offers give employers a document stating that their acceptance of an offer or continued employment is contingent upon a successful background check of the companies’ workplace and job description. Shouldn’t background checks be a two-way street? Many companies embellish job descriptions, career opportunities, and the workplace environment in order to lure top candidates to apply but are not held accountable for any major discrepancies of their claims.

The gap in expectations between job seekers and companies calls for greater transparency from companies regarding their workplace. This includes all of the key metrics used to measure how companies manage, develop, and treat their employees. Social media has already laid bare many of the barriers keeping job seekers from validating whether or not a future employer is being transparent. Even companies have taken advantage of social media to do “inexpensive” background checks on potential employees. Therefore, unflattering information posted online about both job seekers and companies can greatly influence the outcome of the recruitment process. Companies need to produce transparent metrics that objectively measure the statements they make on their websites and during talent acquisition processes. This will allow job seekers to make informed decisions based on objective data. It will also place greater emphasis on a company’s ability to optimize the statistics used to measure their workplace environment. The metrics will be clearly stated in the number of highly qualified applicants and the retention rate of high performance employees.

Workplace Advertising

Great Expectations

The majority of companies do not provide measurable data that corroborates their “sales” pitch to potential employees as a great place to work. While external surveys that measure a company’s employer brand are useful for a company, the prospective candidate or the pending employee has little factual data on an employer’s workplace to analyze prior to accepting a job. Companies exasperate this problem by not being more transparent and sharing the actual internal data of key employer and workplace metrics. In the social media age this is a dangerous practice that could lead to higher recruitment and retention costs. Companies are far more transparent in their annual reports than they are in their workplace reports. Potential investors have loads of quantitative data to pore over; replete with plans and strategies to address pending challenges and future aspirations. But the same does not hold true for potential employees seeking the best work environments in which to invest their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Gaps in workplace expectations are created at the usual point of origin which is the company’s website. If companies promote and “sell” aspects of their workplace that they really do not value, then they are setting up an expectations gap with potential employees. Information on a company’s website is akin to the information that job seekers put on their rsums in that they are both expected to be truthful and transparent. When information on either of these representations of the company and the job seeker are found to be untrue then both parties will suffer penalties. In the case of the job seeker, he can expect that he will be excluded from further consideration of employment. In the case of the company, it can expect that the job seeker will exclude it from further consideration. In the worse case, a talented new-hire quits the company after a few months because of a company’s workplace misrepresentation. Fifteen years ago an incident of this nature would not get publicized in a way that would affect a company’s employer brand – but things are different in the current social media age.

Social Media Validation

Today’s social media explosion ensures that companies must pay attention to how they treat job seekers throughout the entire lifecycle of the recruitment process and beyond. It has never been easier for job seekers to do thorough background checks on companies that include talking to former employees on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, school alumni networks, etc.) and reading online employer reviews on Glassdoor and Jobitorial. Just as companies analyze rsums and do thorough background checks on potential employees, likewise do the savvy job seekers on the company’s employer brand. And while most companies focus on the known talent acquisition metrics as a measure of success, the metric that should concern them most is the one that cannot be measured – the number of high potential candidates who do not apply (or accept a job offer) because of negative reviews made on social media sites. We no longer live in the time of “Buyer Beware” but the time of “Buyer Aware”.