On the 10th of May 2018, the Department of Employment (DoE) has published a letter to address the scope of the Work Permit under the Emergency Decree on Foreign Employee Management B.E. 2561 (the "Decree 2018"). It especially elucidated the question whether a foreigner who has been granted a Work Permit once is able to work in another type of work, for another employer, at another workplace or work condition in Thailand.

Section 70 of the Emergency Decree on Foreign Employee Management B.E. 2560 (the "Decree 2017) has been repealed through the Decree 2018 and, therefore, the application form TM.6 has been revoked, neither the employer nor the employee has to register any changes related to the type of work, the employer, workplace or work condition any longer.

Section 70 of the Decree 2017 had stipulated the interdiction to employ a foreigner who had registered a different type of work, a different employer, workplace or work condition in the Work Permit; the application form TM.6 had been used to amend the Work Permit if changes occurred.

As a result, a foreign employee can work continually in a different type of work, at a different workplace or under different work conditions. However, this only applies as long as the employment is under the same employer as recorded in the existing Work Permit.

This means a foreign employee is allowed to work anywhere and is not obliged to submit an application for changing or adding the workplace in the Work Permit as long as the employee works for the same employer.

A foreigner is not allowed to employ himself and thereby apply for the Work Permit. However, a foreigner may be employed by a registered company in which he himself has director authority.

It is notable that the DoE has issued a new form of Work Permit book which does not include the section "condition". This seems to enable the foreigner to work under flexible conditions. A foreigner who holds an old version of the Work Permit is not obligated to notify the DoE from now on regarding the.

A foreigner who wishes to change or add a type of work is not prohibited from doing so, as long as that work is not excluded by the Official List. The employee can start with a new or additional type of work immediately without notifying the DoE. Employer and Employee must notify the DoE only if the employee has a new or additional employer according to Section 13 of the Decree 2018.

In summary, if the employee wishes to change or add the type of work, workplace or work condition then the employee is free to do so without notifying the DoE. The employee is allowed to work with the existing Work Permit without amendments.

Once the employee wants to change the employer or add an employer, both the employee and employer, have to proceed the registration at the DoE. Both have to submit an employment form to the officials within 15 days from the date of commencement, according to Section 64/2 and 13 of the Decree 2018. Otherwise, the employer and employee are liable for a fine of THB 20,000.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.