An Introduction To Employee Rights In Thailand

Thailand has one of the most exciting, fast-paced job markets in South East Asia. However, there can be some gray areas when it comes to knowing your rights as an employee in Thailand. In this post, we'll help clarify some of the basics when it comes to Thailand labor law.  One thing that's really useful to know is that labor law in Thailand is very much in favor of you, the employee. Most labor disputes that proceed to the courts tend to result in a victory for the employee.

Annual Leave

You're entitled to a minimum of 6 days' annual leave in Thailand, as per Section 30 of the Thailand Labor Protection Act B.E. 2541: "an employee who has worked continuously for one full year shall be entitled to an annual holiday of not less than 6 days per year". If you've been working with your employer for less than one year, then your annual leave will be pro-rated. You're also entitled to a minimum of 13 national holidays per year.

However, many employers choose to extend the number of leave days as a pull factor to attract and retain talent.

Insider Tip: If you don't want to use all your leave days within a particular year, then you may be entitled to "carry forward" your remaining leave to the year after. Check with your employer first, though. Some companies choose to re-set the leave days automatically at the year's end.

Probationary Period

We have covered probationary period in Thailand extensively in other posts , so we won’t delve too deeply into this one. The maximum allowable probationary period in Thailand is 119 days, as per local labor law. This is effectively a trial period where you can determine whether you’re a good match with your new employer. If you decide that the fit isn’t right, you can terminate the contract without any penalty or notice during this period.

Insider Tip: Even if the company stipulates a probationary period longer than the 119 days in the employment contract, you’re still only legally required to serve a probationary period as stated by Thailand labor law.

Working Hours & Overtime Payments

Under the employment law in Thailand, you are legally required to work a maximum of 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week in total. If total working hours exceeds this amount, then you are entitled to an overtime payment.

Should there be a requirement to fulfill overtime requirements, then the employer must grant prior consent, as per Section 24 of the Labor Protection Act.

Insider Tip: If you’re attending a business trip either internationally or domestically, then you aren’t entitled to overtime pay. However, if your employer wants you to travel during a national holiday, when you are entitled to overtime payment, do make sure this is covered.

Notice Period

A notice period is a duration of time that an employee is required to continue to work at the company once they hand in their resignation, or are terminated.

Employees in Thailand are typically required to give 30 days' notice if they wish to terminate the relationship with the employer. Sometimes employers require you to serve a 2 or 3-month notice period. They usually do this if the position is more senior and will require a longer time to find a replacement. The duration of the notice period will always be stipulated in the employment contract.

There is no law against an employee who refuses to serve a notice period, but everyone is morally obligated to fulfill this commitment if it was pre-agreed between yourself and the employer.

Insider Tip: If you have any remaining holiday leave when you resign, you could use this to reduce your notice period and leave earlier.

Sick Pay

As an employee in Thailand, you are allowed 30 days of paid sick leave per year (Section 57). Just remember, if you're absent for more than 3 days, then your employer may ask for you to produce a doctor's note to confirm your illness.

Insider Tip: If you're a female on maternity leave, you're also entitled to pay during this period. Under Section 59 of the Labor Protection Act, your employer is required to give you 45 days of paid maternity leave.

Severance Payments

Severance payments are granted to employees if they are terminated or made redundant.

As we mentioned earlier on in the post, Thailand employment law very much favors you, the employee. This means that, in the event that you are terminated or made redundant, you're entitled to a severance payment.

In Thailand, the longer you work with your employer, the more severance pay you are entitled to. Here is a table to demonstrate:

severence-pay-Thailand.jpg#asset:496

Just like most other countries, you'll be exempt from severance payments if you:

  • Commit a criminal offense against the employer
  • Cause willful damage to the employer
  • Commit negligence with serious consequence to the employer
  • Violating a work rule after being given a first warning letter
  • Being absent for 3 consecutive days without prior warning or explanation

Insider Tip: Your employer is not required to pay severance if you violate company policy once again after being issued a prior written warning. Make sure you don't make the same mistake twice, or you won't be entitled to any payments as per Thai labor law.

So, there you go! A quick breakdown of the basics of the Thailand Labor Law. All of the information in this post is covered in more depth in the Labor Protection Act, which you can access here.

We are experts on employee rights in Thailand, so get in touch with us if you have any questions.