Hiring Employees in Thailand Basic Necessities
– Extract from an old BLB newsletter –
An insight into the legal aspects of Thai employment is necessary of course as most business ventures will follow with such need. It is prudent to first note that while the statutory provisions relating to employment are quite typical in nature as compared to other jurisdictions: its application and interpretation by the Thai Courts and labor authorities are well known as tending toward employees.
Considering the limited space available here, we shall have to contend to point-form descriptions of some salient points for consideration when hiring.
Minimum age for employment in Thailand is 15; if employee is 15-18, additional restrictions apply such as the necessity of informing the labor authority; no maximum age in private sector.
Form & Nature of Employment Agreement
No requirement to be in writing; contractual in nature; deemed as ‘Contracts for Hire of Service’.
Maximum of 8 hours/ day 48 hours/ week, generally 8.30 a.m – 5.30 p.m with lunch break from 12.00 p.m – 1.00p.m; if work is ‘detrimental to health / safety’, 7 hours/ day 42 hours/ week.
Currently (pursuant to Thailand’s Employment Committee No. 6), varying according to province from THB 300/ day (Bangkok, Phuket, Nakorn Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakarn and Samut Sakorn) to THB 222 (Payao); THB 15,000/ month for fresh university graduate (bachelor’s degree).
Minimum Rest Periods / Paid Leave
1 rest day/ week; 1 rest hour/ day; 13 public holidays/ year (which must include National Labor Day 1st May); 6 days paid leave/ year of service; 30 days of paid sick leave/ year (cannot include inability to work due to injury/illness arising out of working, medical certificate can be required if sick leave taken for 3 or more days consecutively, failure to submit of which reasonable explanation must be given.
Where 10 or more employees are employed, must be in writing and lodged with Department of Labor Protection & Welfare and a copy must be posted in prominent location at place of work and must include details such as Working Days, Regular Working Hours, Rest Periods, Rules on Overtime and Holiday Work, Procedures for Submission of Grievances, etc.
Social Security Contributions
These are mandatory and statutorily codified in the Social Security Act B.E. 2533 (A.D. 1990); rate of 5% (both employer and employee contributes, monthly) on employees’ wages with a cap of 750 THB; tax deductible; provides 7 types of employee benefits including sickness / injury / disability / death not suffered in course of employment, maternity, child welfare, unemployment and old age pension.
Workmen’s Compensation Fund
On the other hand, this fund covers sickness / injury / disability / death suffered in the course of employment; mandatory and statutorily codified in the Workmen’s Compensation Fund Act B.E. 2537 (A.D. 1994); contributions are paid annually; rates being between 0.2% – 1% of the total payroll varying according to the type of business and nature of the work.
Employers are vicariously liable for the acts of the employees, save for such acts of the latter that are ‘wholly outside’ the scope of their employment
Employee records and wage payment documentation have to be maintained.
Among many other things, these initial requirements are fundamental to Employment in Thailand.
Foreign employees need a Work Permit to work in Thailand, which will subsequently endorse their Visa. The process may be summarized as follows:
90-day Non-Immigrant ‘B’ Visa à Work Permit à 1-year Non-Immigrant ‘B’ Visa + Multiple Entry Permit
Requirements: 2 Mill THB capitalization of Employer Company per Work Permit; 4-1 Thai-foreign employee ratio; and compliance with minimum salary in accordance with the current guidelines.
The Labor Office & Tribunal
The forum of adjudication for employment disputes is the Labor Court. Labor related complaints and employee grievances may be filed with the Labor Officials which are known to be supportive to employees.
The Employment Agreement should be as clear and comprehensive as appropriate as any discrepancy or uncertainty will likely be interpreted in favor of the employee.
For more information on the foregoing, please contact the author JOEL LOO SEAN EE, the Bangkok-based Senior Regional Counsel at Kelvin Chia Thailand and a member of Kelvin Chia Partnership’s Regional Practice Group at Joel.Loo@KCPartnership.com.
This article is published to provide general information only and is not offered as specific advice on any particular matter – This information is to be taken subject to proper consultation with a lawyer.
All written material on BANGKOK LEGAL BLOG (BLB) including this post are the Copyright of Joel Loo Sean Ee. Any attempt to plagiarize or reproduce these materials in whole or in part, in verbatim or in paraphrase, or in any other form that it can be conceivable that such attempt is being made is an offense in law and will be an invitation by offenders to face charges and prosecution in a Court of Law.