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 Decoding Southeast 
 Asia’s Labor Laws 

Charting the Critical Legal & Cultural Landscape of Employment 

with Raj Joshua Thomas,

Managing Partner of Tang Thomas LLC
and Nominated Member of Parliament

with Raj Joshua Thomas,

Managing Partner of Tang Thomas LLC and Nominated Member of Parliament

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About the episode

One of the most fundamental aspects businesses should be aware of when expanding into Southeast Asia is the employment landscape. But legal frameworks only tell part of the story. When it comes to employment contracts, what are some essential hard and fast rules? Beyond the legalese, can employers and employees find some flexibility?

In this episode, we dissect the nuances of labor laws and regulations, plus the critical legal and cultural considerations that shape employment contracts, salary structures, termination procedures, and more. Join us as we also dig into effective strategies for managing a regional workforce, as well as practical approaches to handling workplace disputes and "unwritten rules".

Guest speaker

Raj Joshua ThomasManaging Partner of Tang Thomas LLC and Nominated Member of Parliament

He is a trusted and experienced advisor to businesses and high net worth individuals on all matters related to commercial litigation and navigating Singapore’s regulatory landscape.

Joshua has acted for claimants and defendants in complex litigation in the courts and in arbitral proceedings. His clients include multi-national corporations, companies listed in Singapore and foreign bourses, charitable organisations and high-net worth individuals. Joshua also represents clients on criminal matters, including white collar crime.

In his regulatory practice, Joshua advises corporations on a wide range of matters, including employment, privacy and data protection, licensing requirements and insurance. He has assisted companies in dealing with sensitive issues such as the wearing of the tudung (or hijab) at workplaces and corruption investigations.

Joshua’s practice and advice is distinctive in that he proposes solutions that are holistic: taking into account commercial realities and considerations, combined with the legal perspective. His approach is a result of his unique and diverse past work experience: having served as the President of a trade association, the CEO of a security firm that he successfully grew into a regional corporation, and a foreign service officer in the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He started his legal career and previously practiced at Allen & Gledhill LLP, one of Singapore’s largest law firms.

Joshua was appointed a Nominated Member of the Singapore Parliament in January 2021. He also sits on a number of government committees and corporate boards.