Thailand

Global Compliance Guide

Labor Requirements

The employment relationship in Thailand is governed by express provisions of the 2007 constitution, as well as by statutes and conditions-of-employment agreements. The central employment statute is the Labor Protection Act (1998), which has been amended by the Labor Protection Act (No. 2) (2008), the Labor Protection Act (No. 3) (2008), and the Labor Protection Act (No. 4) (2010).

 

Other relevant employment statutes include the Persons with Disabilities Empowerment Act (2007), the Unfair Contract Terms Act (1997), the Workers’ Compensation Act (1994), the Social Security Act (1990), the Act for the Establishment of and Procedure for the Labor Court (1979) and the Labor Relations Act (1975).

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

Thailand law establishes regular working hours of eight per day and 48 per week. For hazardous work, the regular workday cannot exceed seven hours and the regular workweek cannot exceed 42 hours. Hours of Work: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  23-25, 27-29.

Overtime

Overtime is generally voluntary. An employer may require an employee to work overtime only in an emergency or if the nature of the work requires that it be performed continuously. An employee who works overtime on a regular workday is entitled to 1.5 times regular pay. For overtime on a holiday, the rate is three times regular pay.

 

Supervisors or salesmen paid by the commission are not entitled to overtime or holiday overtime pay. The total amount of overtime and holiday work must not exceed 36 hours per week. Overtime: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  61-63.

Night Work

The Labor Protection Act does not provide any restrictions on night work for regular employees. However, the Act does contain restrictions for women and minors.

 

For pregnant employees, the Act prohibits night work between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. In addition, for non-pregnant female employees who work anytime between midnight to 6:00 a.m., if the Labor Inspector finds that the nature of work is harmful to the employee’s health and safety, the Inspector must report this further so as to order the employer to change the employee’s working hours or reduce the number of working hours.

 

Minors are prohibited from working anytime between 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. unless permission is granted by the Director-General. However, the employer may require a young worker under 18 years of age who is a performer in film, theatre or other similar acts to work during such hours; provided that the employer shall provide the young worker with proper rest periods. Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, §§ 40, 47.

Breaks

An employee is entitled to a rest period of at least one hour after working for five consecutive hours. The rest period is not counted as working time. If an employer has requested overtime work of at least two hours, the employee also is entitled to a 20-minute rest period before beginning the overtime work. Hours of Work: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  23-25, 27-29.

Work On Rest Days

Employees are entitled to one day off per week. The interval between days off may not be more than six days. The weekly holiday is with full pay except for employees who receive a daily wage, an hourly wage, or a wage paid for piecework. Hours of Work: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  23-25, 27-29.

Public Holidays

Employees are entitled to a minimum of 13 paid holidays per year, and the government often provides more. The principal holidays, many based on the lunar calendar with varying dates year-to-year, are:

      • Jan. 1: New Year’s Day
      • Makha Puja Day
      • Chakri Day
      • Songkran Festival (Thai New Year)
      • May 1: Labor Day
      • Coronation Day
      • Visakha Puja Day
      • Asanha Puja Day
      • Aug. 12: Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday
      • Oct. 23: Chulalongkorn Day
      • Dec. 5: His Majesty the King’s Birthday
      • Dec. 10: Constitution Day
      • Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve

If a holiday falls on a weekend, its observance moves to a weekday. An employer may not require an employee to work on a holiday unless work must be performed without interruption, an emergency is involved or the employee works in a hotel, an entertainment establishment, a shop that sells food or drinks, a club or an association, a medical facility or the transportation industry.

 

Holiday Pay

Work on a holiday is paid at twice the normal rate, overtime work on a holiday at three times the normal rate. Holidays: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  29, 56, 61-63.

Annual Leave

After one year of employment, an employee is entitled to take at least 6 days per year of paid annual leave. Employers may grant additional vacation time in subsequent years. Unused vacation can be accumulated from year to year. Employers may grant vacation on a pro-rata basis to employees who have not completed a full year of service. Vacation: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  30, 56.

Special Leave

Maternity Leave

Women are entitled to take up to 90 days of maternity leave for each pregnancy. The employer provides full pay for 45 days, and women who are eligible may receive a lump sum from the social security system that is equivalent to full pay for the other 45 days. To be eligible for the social security benefit, insured persons or their spouses must have made contributions into the system for at least seven of the 15 months preceding medical treatment for pregnancy. Maternity Leave: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  41, 59, 65; Social Security Act, 1990, B.E. 2533, §  67.

Paternity Leave

There is no provision for mandatory paternity leave for private-sector employees. Maternity Leave: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  41, 59, 65; Social Security Act, 1990, B.E. 2533, §  67.

Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to unlimited sick leave but only 30 days of paid sick leave per year. If an employee is out sick for three consecutive days, the employer can require a doctor’s certificate. Sick Leave: Social Security Act, 1990, B.E. 2533, §  64; Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  32, 57.

Military Service Leave

Employees are entitled to take paid leave of up to 60 days per year for military service. Other Leave: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  33-35, 57-58.

Sterilization Leave

Employees are entitled to take paid leave in order to be sterilized. The length of the leave is determined by a physician. Other Leave: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  33-35, 57-58.

Training Leave

Employees are entitled to take unpaid leave for training. Such training must consist of a course or program with a definite duration. The employer may deny training leave if the employee has already taken such leave for 30 days or more or on three or more prior occasions or if granting such leave would adversely affect the employer’s business operations. Other Leave: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  33-35, 57-58.

Personal Leave

Employees are entitled to unlimited sick leave but only 30 days of paid sick leave per year. If an employee is out sick for three consecutive days, the employer can require a doctor’s certificate. Other Leave: Labor Protection Act, 1998 (as amended), B.E. 2541, § §  33-35, 57-58.

Last updated on: September 23rd, 2019