While many businesses drape their logos in rainbows every June to show support for the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month, Total Access Communication PLC, aka DTAC, put its money where its mouth is on Tuesday.
DTAC, Thailand’s third largest mobile operator, has just introduced a new set of LGBTQ+-friendly policies, including parental leave, matrimony leave and medical leave for gender reassignment surgery.
“We have zero tolerance for discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, religion. This has long been part of our code of conduct,” said Nardrerdee Ar-harnwongse, CEO of DTAC.
The new inclusive benefits amount to matrimony leave of up to six days and an allowance of THB5,000 (US$156); medical leave for gender reassignment surgery up to 30 days per year; parental leave of up to seven days for an LGBTQ+ employee who adopts a child under the age of one; and funeral leave of up to 15 days per year and an allowance of THB10,000 (US$312) for the death of a family member.
The benefits are currently offered to legally wed couples and will be extended to same-sex couples who can demonstrate that they are partners in a committed relationship within a single household, according to DTAC.
Many members of the LGBTQ+ community in Thailand gave a nod to the company’s new, woke policies.
“Thank you for supporting LGBTQ+ people. This is how we proudly end pride month,” wrote Nishaa Nishkul on Facebook. “[If I were a DTAC employee], I’d like to take matrimony leave!”
“We don’t need a rainbow flag, but we want benefits as equal as… heterosexual people which are the right to get married, being recognized and embraced as a person,” said Perry Meesad, a Bangkok-based transman told Coconuts Bangkok.
Same-sex marriage is still not legally recognized in Thailand. The Civil Partnership Bill, which was endorsed by the cabinet in July last year, would for the first time allow same-sex couples to register their marriages, but only as “partners” rather than spouses. However, the bill is currently in limbo as the government has asked its sponsors to review its content and have questioned its necessity.