The main Thai labour law consists of the Civil and Commercial Code on contracts relating to the Hire of Services (Book III, Title VI), the Labour Protection Act 1998, the Labour Protection Act (No.2) 2008, the Labour Protection Act (No.3) 2008, the Labour Relations Act 1975, the Act on Establishment of Labour Courts and Labour Court Procedures 1979, the Social Security Act 1990 and the Compensation Act 1994. The Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, under the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, is charged with implementing labour laws and performing labor inspections throughout the country.
From 1 January 2013, the Thai minimum wage is Baht 300 nationwide which is subject to change from time to time.
Working Hours and Leave
The maximum number of working hours of employees is fixed at 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week in total. In some types of works, as stipulated by law, the employer and the employee may agree to arrange the period of working hours but the working hours in any case must not exceed 48 hours a week. In establishments in which the work is deemed injurious to health or personal safety, as stipulated by law, working hours must not exceed 7 hours a day and 42 hours a week in total.
All employees are entitled to a daily rest period of at least 1 hour after working for 5 consecutive hours. The employer and the employee may arrange the daily rest period to be shorter than 1 hour at each time but it must not be less than 1 hour a day in total. A weekly holiday of at least 1 day a week at intervals of a 6 day period must be arranged for the employee.
For work performed in excess of the maximum number of hours fixed either by regulation or by specific agreement (if the latter is lower), employees must be paid overtime compensation. The rates of overtime vary ranging from 1.5 times to 3 times the normal average hourly wage rate for the actual overtime worked. Certain employees engaged in employment related work on behalf of the employer and other types of work as prescribed by law are not entitled to overtime compensation. The maximum number of overtime working hours is limited to not more than 36 hours a week.
All employees are entitled to unlimited sick leave, but the number of days paid sick leave shall not exceed 30 regular workdays a year. The employer may require an employee to produce a certificate from a qualified doctor for a sick leave of three days or more.
A female employee is entitled to maternity leave for a period of 90 days including holidays, but the number of days paid leave shall not exceed 45 days.
An employee who has worked consecutively for one year is entitled to at least 6 working days of paid vacation every year, in addition to the 13 holidays in a year traditionally observed in Thailand.
An employer with 10 or more regular employees is required to establish written rules and regulations in the Thai language governing work performance and to display these regulations on the work premises within 15 days from the date that the number of employees reaches 10 employees or more. A copy of these rules and regulations must be submitted to the Department of Labor Protection and Welfare within seven days from the date that the employer announces or displays the working regulations.
An employer with 10 or more regular employees is also required to maintain an employee register in the Thai language with documents pertaining to the payment of wages, overtime, holiday work and overtime on holidays. The employee register must be maintained for at least two years after the date of termination of employment of each employee together with the supporting source documents.
Termination of Employment
If an employment contract does not specify any duration, either party can terminate the contract by giving the other party a written notice before or at the date the wage payment is due, to take effect on the following wage payment due date.
An employer does not have to pay severance pay to an employee when employment is terminated upon any of the following conditions:
(1) performing his/her duty dishonestly or intentionally committing a criminal offence against the Employer;
(2) willfully causing damage to the Employer;
(3) committing negligent acts causing serious damage to the Employer;
(4) violating work rule, regulation or order of the Employer which is lawful and just, and after written warning having been given by the Employer, except for a serious case with no requirement for the Employer to give warning.
The written warning shall be valid of not exceeding one year from the date when the employee commits the offence;
(5) absenting himself/herself from duty without justifiable reason for three consecutive working days regardless of whether there is holiday in between;
(6) being sentenced to imprisonment by a final court judgment.
In item (6), if the imprisonment is for offences committed by negligence or a petty offense, it shall be the offense causing damage to the Employer.
Upon termination of employment without severance pay upon the above conditions, the Employer needs to specify the fact which is the cause of termination in a letter of termination of employment or inform the cause of termination to the employee at the time of termination of employment.
An employee terminated without a valid cause as stipulated by law is entitled to receive the following severance pay:
- 30 days’ wages where the employment period is at least 120 days but is less than one year.
- 90 days’ wages where the employment period is at least one year but is less than three years.
- 180 days’ wages where the employment period is at least three years but is less than six years.
- 240 days’ wages where the employment period is at least six years but is less than ten years.
- 300 days’ wages where the employment period is ten years or more.
In the event that the employer relocates its place of business that essentially affects the normal living of an employee or his/her family, the employer must notify the employee of the relocation at least 30 days in advance or pay an amount in lieu of the advance notice equal to 30 days’ wages. In this connection, if the employee refuses to move and work in the new location, the employee has the right to terminate the employment contract and is entitled to receive a special severance pay of not less than the prescribed rates of severance pay.
In the event that the employer terminates the employment of an employee as a consequence of streamlining the work units, production process, distribution service, or the introduction or change of machinery or technology, which thereby results in the reduction of the number of employees, the employer must notify the Labor Inspector and the employee concerned at least 60 days before the date of termination of the employment or pay in lieu of the advance notice to the employee an amount equal to 60 days’ wages. The terminated employee will be entitled to the prescribed rates of severance pay. Moreover, if the terminated employee, has worked consecutively for over 6 years, the employee would be entitled to an additional special severance pay at the rate of 15 days’ wages per one full year of service, calculating from the start of year 7 onwards. However, the total amount of this additional special severance pay is limited to the equivalent of 360 days’ wages.
Read the official version of the Thai Labor Law:
Labor Protection Act B.E. 2541 (A.D. 1998) – English version
Labor Protection Act B.E. 2541 – Thai version
Labor Protection Act B.E. (No.2) 2551 (A.D. 2008) – English version
Labor Protection Act B.E. (No.2) 2551 – Thai version
Labor Protection Act B.E. (No.3) 2551 (A.D. 2008) – English version
Labor Protection Act B.E. (No.3) 2551 – Thai version