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Employment Terms and Conditions

Thailand - Employment Terms and Conditions


Thailand has strict regulations with regard to working terms and conditions. These clearly set out factors such as working hours, entitlements and recruitment and should be adhered to. Companies that do not obey the regulations face penalties such as prosecution and fines.

A person is permitted to work for a maximum 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week. If the work is considered by the authorities to be dangerous in any way then work is limited to 7 hours per day or 42 hours per week. Overtime rates are payable for those who work outside these hours. The minimum is time and a half although some workers can earn up to 3 times their usual hourly rate for overtime. Most people will work from Monday to Friday although some workers will be expected to work at weekends, such as shop workers and public services.

Thailand has a minimum wage structure. However, this is very low and is set by each individual province. Skilled workers can expect to earn in excess of the minimum wage although unskilled workers, particularly in rural areas, may struggle to reach this amount.

Current leave entitlement is 6 days of holiday when you have been in your current position for at least one year. However, all workers – regardless of length of service – are entitled to the 13 days of national holidays. It is normal for employers to pay up to 30 days sick leave each year although for sick leave of more than a few days at a time a doctor’s note may be required for this to be paid. Maternity leave is 90 days and 45 of these are paid at full pay.

It is usual for a worker to have a probationary period when they start work for a Thai company. The maximum time frame allowed for this is 120 days. The employer has the right to terminate the employment during the probationary period if the worker does not meet the required standard.

If your contract of employment in Thailand is terminated then you are entitled to some redundancy pay. Those who have been with the company for at least 4 months but less than one year are entitled to the equivalent of 30 days pay. Those who have worked there for between 1 and 3 years will receive 90 days pay and those who have been there for between 3 and 6 years will get 180 days pay. Those who have worked for a company for between 6 and 10 years are entitled to 240 days pay and those who have been there for more than 10 years will get 300 days pay. The notice period will be specified in the contract of employment but can be anything from 1 week to 3 months, depending upon the company that you are working for and the type of work that you are doing.

Employment law in Thailand covers both Thai workers and foreign workers. An employment contract does not have to be in writing, although it is advised. The only group of workers who should have a contract in writing are home workers. A foreign employee is entitled to have a contract in English but a Thai copy should be made available if requested by the Department of Employment for a work permit to be issued.

Retirement age in Thailand is 60, although some pension entitlements can be claimed from the age of 55. Pensions in Thailand are both social security and private. Many employers offer a private pension scheme and a retirement savings scheme in addition to the contributions which are made to the state’s old age pension fund.

Many workers in Thailand are members of a union but although there are large numbers of unions in Thailand only a few are actually active. There are many based within a particular enterprise and if there is a dispute members find that they are not always effective. The unions which are active within the public sector are more effective but still suffer from a lack of organisation. Membership of unions is not compulsory and there should be no problems for those who choose to join. Strike action does take place from time to time in Thailand.


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