There was a whole lot of hype earlier this 12 months in regards to the delisting of hashish and hemp vegetation from the Narcotics Code in Thailand. Nonetheless, there seems to be some confusion about hashish use inside the nation and particularly, what’s permitted and never permitted with out a license. With a view to stop misuse and a society-wide drawback, the Thai authorities has been elaborating on the permitted use and sale of hashish in the previous few months.
This text examines the present state of the regulation pertaining to hashish, with a selected give attention to worker use and the employer’s rights in these circumstances.
Present standing of the regulation
The delisting of hashish and hemp vegetation applies to their unprocessed elements and extracts containing lower than 0.2% of tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”). Subsequently solely extracts that comprise greater than 0.2% of THC are nonetheless regulated by the Narcotics Code and require a license from the Thai Meals and Drug Administration (FDA). Smoking hashish in public stays prohibited and the utmost penalty for doing so is three-month imprisonment and a THB 25,000 positive.
Nonetheless, in follow, the delisting has led to misuse and abuse of hashish merchandise in Thailand, which has in flip led to societal issues. Vacationers appear to have the ability to readily buy hashish or cannabis-infused merchandise from avenue distributors. Abroad governments and embassies in Thailand have issued warnings to their residents, informing them of improper use and making certain they don’t convey any hashish again into their house nations. There have been main well being issues, with cases of younger individuals overdosing on hashish. As defined in our earlier article “The Effects of the Delisting of Marijuana in Thailand and Government’s Attempt to Address This,” many well being professionals objected to the delisting with out ample controls being put in place.
In response to those points, the Thai authorities has been contemplating the Hashish and Hemp Invoice, which can additional make clear and regulate the usage of hashish and hemp in Thailand. The way forward for the Invoice is nonetheless unknown because it waswithdrawn earlierpending revision of its contents by lawmakers.
Within the meantime, the Thai authorities has set ahead some pointers to make clear the permitted use of hashish and hemp merchandise, for instance:
- On 13 Could 2022, the Minister of Public Well being issued a notification regulating the sale and import of cosmetics containing hashish.
- On 16 June 2022, the Minister of Public Well being issued a notification prohibiting the sale of hashish to minors, use of hashish by pregnant and breastfeeding ladies and smoking hashish in public.
- On 18 August 2022, the Minister of Public Well being issued a notification regulating ready-to-eat meals sellers to show warning messages for meals containing hashish.
One such guideline contains the Letter issued by the Division of Labor and Safety and Welfare (“DLPW”) on 28 June 2022 encouraging employers to situation a coverage setting out the restrictions on the usage of hashish by its staff within the office (“Letter”).
Tips for employers
In abstract, the Letter issued by the DLPW states that:
- The Minister of Labour Division has issues about security within the office because the delisting of hashish as this may occasionally influence the staff’ focus and consciousness.
- The DLPW requests employers to situation inside insurance policies relating to the usage of hashish or hemp within the office to remind staff find out how to safely use hashish/hemp.
- The corporate might instruct a licensed particular person or arrange a committee to take care of the security of staff within the office together with checking the readiness of the staff after they begin their work.
- While hashish/hemp has been delisted, employers might limit the usage of these medication within the office, particularly for workers who work with machines and cars, as the usage of hashish/hemp by such staff might trigger critical accidents. The smoking of hashish may additionally trigger respiratory points for purchasers and subsequently must be fastidiously monitored within the hospitality and meals and beverage industries.
The DLPW has printed a template that employers can use to situation their insurance policies for the office (“Coverage Template”). An unofficial English translation of the Coverage Template is included on the finish of this text.
Sensible issues for employers
When employers are utilizing the Coverage Template, it could be good follow to clarify to the staff why the coverage is critical (for instance, for sustaining security and peace within the office) to keep away from any misunderstandings by the staff.
Employers must also be sure that they don’t embody any guidelines which can be thought of unfair by the staff. Beneath Thai regulation, an employer (who has 10 or extra staff) is required to have work guidelines or laws of their office which the staff have entry. These work guidelines can embody self-discipline measures which can be authorized and truthful to its staff. For instance, most work guidelines will comprise a rule that the worker should not eat medication within the office. Any inside insurance policies which can be launched ought to subsequently be according to the work guidelines.
Penalties of misuse by staff
Within the occasion that an employer discovers that its worker is utilizing hashish within the office, there are a number of actions that the employer might contemplate taking:
- Give a warning– the employer ought to collect proof of misuse after which give a verbal and written warning to the worker to not use hashish within the office. The written warning must also state that if the worker doesn’t adjust to the warning and engages in an unlawful act once more, he could also be terminated with trigger. Any notices given to the worker can be legitimate for one 12 months.
- Terminating with trigger– below Thai regulation, employers might terminate the worker with trigger below sure circumstances. Willfully disobeying the employer or deliberately committing a legal offence in opposition to the employer are examples of “causes” that the employer can rely on. It is very important notice that when terminating an worker with trigger, the employer should put this in writing and clearly specify the reason for termination. The employer would nonetheless be required to make sure funds, equivalent to the worker’s wages (professional rata charge to the final day) and any amassed unused annual go away.
- Terminating with out trigger– as a substitute for (2), if the employer needs to terminate the worker however doesn’t have sufficient proof to terminate with trigger, it may possibly contemplate terminating the employment with out trigger. The principle distinction with (2) above can be that the employer must make sure extra funds to the worker, together with severance pay and cost in lieu of discover (if any).
In each cases of termination (with or with out trigger), the employer must be conscious that there’s a chance that the worker might convey a declare for unfair dismissal to the Thai courts. The employer ought to subsequently fastidiously contemplate the details with a lawyer to find out the most effective plan of action in opposition to the worker.
The regulation regarding hashish in Thailand remains to be a piece in progress and subsequently, anybody who’s contemplating benefiting from the delisting ought to proceed with warning and be aware of the varied pointers issued by the Thai authorities.
In an employment context, the employer ought to contemplate issuing a coverage according to the template offered by DLPW, taking into consideration that the coverage must be defined to the staff and stay truthful. If it discovers that an worker has been misusing hashish within the office, the employer ought to fastidiously contemplate (ideally with a authorized advisor) its subsequent steps, as advised above.
For extra info, please contact the authors or alternatively, our Employment and Advantages Follow.
Part 25 Public Well being Act, B.E. 2535 (1992) and the Notification of the Ministry of Public Well being Re: Actions that trigger nuisance by the odor or smoke from Hashish, Hemp or Any Different Crops B.E. 2565 (2022)
Part 108, 119 Labour Safety Act B.E. 2541 (1998)
Part 119 Labour Safety Act B.E. 2541 (1998)
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