International Legal and Ethical Issues in Business

In this paper I will discuss environmental regulations and labor laws in place in Thailand and Singapore. This paper will show that while Singapore seems to have stricter environmental regulations in place in it’s country, the labor laws in Thailand seems to protect its citizens better with better work hour regulations and wage requirements. Singapore’s labor laws can stand to be revisited so as to keep the working citizens safe from greedy business owners. What are Thailand and Singapore’s environmental regulation levels?

Thailand’s government has been known to keep loose environmental standards for investors. Many foreign investors have been used to Thailand’s loose environmental regulation, however, the country’s government is now struggling to deal with tough new environmental regulations. An upheaval from residents in some of the more industrial areas of Thailand has set in motion a movement to toughen environmental regulations, which has many companies like Ford thinking of relocating some of its manufacturing plants.

Singapore, however, has very strict environmental regulations in place, with an extension of liability even reaching to directors and officers of the companies that operate in Singapore. The government in Singapore has passed strict laws to ensure that corporations operating in the country do not compromise the health of their people. Violators of the environmental regulations in Singapore may even face mandatory jail time if found guilty of participating in activities that are deemed harmful to the environment and the people living in the area.

What kind of legislation has been passed in the country regarding working hours and wages? The Department of Labor in Thailand enforces labor laws in the country. Currently, Thailand has some pretty good labor laws in place to protect it’s citizens. The most hours a person can work per day in Thailand is 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week. If the job is deemed hazardous, the workday is considered complete after 7 hours, or 42 hours per week. Employees must be paid overtime pay at a rate of 1. 5 to three times the normal hourly rate when the maximum amount of hours has been surpassed.

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The minimum daily wage rate varies, depending on location. Some provincial areas can pay a daily rate of 137 baht, or $3. 43 U. S. dollars, whereas the daily rate can be 175 baht or $4. 38 U. S. dollars in Bangkok. Office and management staff working full-time hours can earn about 15,000 baht (US $375) to 150,000 baht (US $3,750) per month, depending on the level of management and experience. Singapore does not have any regulations in place with regard to a minimum wage for it’s workers. The Employment Act in Singapore only stipulates that workers be paid timely, which is translated to mean at least once a month.

Workers who make less than 2,000 SGD per month may not be required to work more than eight hours a day or 44 hours per week. Employees working in management positions or higher may be permitted to work longer hours, depending on what terms are outlined in their contract. Do you think the country’s environmental regulation is sufficient? Explain. It seems Singapore has sufficient environmental regulations in place, what with punishments which include jail time for those found guilty of infraction of the regulations.

However, I feel that Thailand still has a long way to go in establishing effective environmental regulations. The people of Thailand are still fighting to get proper regs in place to keep their environment and their people safe and healthy. It seems that Thailand is reluctantly coming around, however, the threat of losing many of its foreign investors because of new environmental regulations might hinder any real progress. Do you feel that the country’s hour and wage legislation is ethical? Explain.

Thailand’s hour and wage regulations are adequate; however, Singapore’s hour and wage regulation still leave way too much room for employees to be taken advantage of by their employers. The fact there is no national minimum wage requirement leaves too much room for employers to underpay their employees. There is also no regulation in place to limit the amount of hours per day an employee can work. There is also no regulation for overtime pay. The lack of regulation in place to determine how many hours per day or week a person can work before overtime pay is required leaves the employees at the mercy of their employers.

References

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704182004575056421383885014.html

http://www.business-in-asia.com/thai_labor_law.htm

http://www.ehow.com/list_5989991_labor-laws-singapore.html

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