Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources(2018) 56, 539–565 Open access link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/1744-7941.12190 Key points 1 The ILO labour standards are significant international conventions, recommendations, declarations and protocols that may influence national labour laws and industrial relations. 2 The impact of ILO labour standards that relate to decent work is patchy in Thailand and contrasting in two types of Thai labour market, which we call Types A and B. 3 Implementing the decent work agenda may encourage managers to deploy workers in more productive and innovative ways. 4 As well as advancing Thailand’s economic and social development, more decent work in Thailand would improve Thai people’s working lives. 5 Thailand should reform its tripartite national institution that can foster the implementation of the decent work agenda. This would be a worthwhile institutional innovation. 6 Such improvements are more likely to be achieved and sustained under parliamentary democracy than under military rule.