Recruiting and Labor Issues

Employment legislation has a direct bearing on labor practices for each type of business. Investors should seek appropriate advice to determine which legislation applies to their line of business.

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Legal Implications of Labor Management

In general, Thai labor laws provide for considerable freedom in managing labor. In many countries, it is not legal to discriminate on the basis of age or sex. Perusal of personnel ads in Thai newspapers finds the employers narrowly defining their needs: "The successful candidate will be male, less than 35 years of age, not a member of a labor union, and at least 150 cm in height, etc.”
An employer with 10 or more regular employees is required to establish written rules and regulations in Thai language governing work performance. The regulations must be displayed on the work premises within 15 days of the date from which the number of employees reached 10 or more. A copy of these rules and regulations must be submitted to the Department of Labor within seven days of 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 Thai language with documents pertaining to the payment of wages, overtime, holiday work, etc. 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.

Employee records

  In addition to the above, they said employer is required to submit a report form on conditions of employment and working conditions to the Director-General or a person entrusted by Director-General within every January.
Further, the Government does not interfere with a company’s retrenchment policies when economic conditions necessitate cutbacks. There is no "first in, last out” requirement in Thailand. Similarly, Thai employers have the right to transfer employees to other work locations, provided the transfer is not ordered with the exclusive intent to create hardship on them. Refusal to transfer is legal cause for dismissal.

Last updated November 2018

Source :
Labor Issues : Labor Regulations link
B.E.2551 (2008) : WORKING OF ALIEN ACT link

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Labor Regulations

Employment legislation has a direct bearing on labor practices for each type of business. Investors should seek appropriate advice to determine which legislation applies to their line of business.

Labor Protection

Workers in Thailand are protected by the Labor Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998), the Labor Protection Act B.E. 2551 (2008), the Labor Relations Act (No. 2) B.E. 2518 (1975), and other related laws. These laws apply to all businesses with at least one employee. Employers who disregard these laws are subject to heave fines and possible imprisonment of up to one year. It should be noted that domestic workers (household staff) are not included in the definition of "employee” and are not covered by the Labor Act. All other employees, whether full or part time, seasonal, casual, occasional or contract, are covered.

Important protections contained in the law are:

Work Hours and Holidays: The maximum number of hours for non-hazardous work is 8 hours a day, but not exceeding 48 hours per week. Where the working hours of any day are less than 8 hours, the employer and employee may agree to make up the remaining working hours in other normal working days, but not exceed 9 hours per day and the total working hours per week shall not exceed 48 hours. In some types of work as stipulated by law, the employer and the employee may agree to arrange the period of working hours, but it still must not exceed 48 hours a week. Hazardous work may not exceed 7 hours a day, or 42 hours per week. The employees are entitled to no fewer than 13 national holidays per year, as well as a minimum of six days of annual vacation after working consecutively for one full year. The employees have the choice of whether they wish to work overtime or on holidays. A female employee is entitled to maternity leave for a period of 90 days including holidays, but paid leave shall not exceed 45 days.
All employees are entitled to a daily rest period of at least one hour after working five consecutive hours. The employer and the employee may arrange the daily rest period to be shorter than one hour at each time, but it must not be less than one hour a day in total. A weekly holiday of at least one day per week at intervals of a six-day period must be arranged by the employer.
For work performed in excess of the maximum number or working hours fixed either by law or by specific agreement (if the latter is lower), the employees must be paid overtime compensation. The rates for overtime vary and range from 1-1/2 times to 3 times the normal hourly wage rate for the actual overtime worked. The maximum number of overtime working hours is limited to not more than 36 hours a week.
The minimum age for employment is 15 years, and the workers below the age of 18 are banned from dangerous and hazardous jobs. They are also prohibited from working overtime, on holidays, or between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. A pregnant employee is also prohibited from working overtime, on holidays, or between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. However, if she works in an executive position, or performs academic, administrative, and/or work relating to finance or accounts, the employer may assign her to work overtime on a working day with her consent insofar as it does not affect the health of the pregnant employee.
  • Sick Leave: Employees can take as many days of sick leave as necessary, but the employer is required to pay wages in respect of a day of sick leave for not exceeding 30 working days per annum. The employer may require the employee to produce a certificate from a qualified doctor for a sick leave of three days or more.
  • Severance Pay: Employees who have worked for at least 120 days but less than one year are entitled to 30 days severance pay. For personnel employed between 1-3 years, the severance pay is not less than 90 days’ pay. The employees with 3-6 years of service will receive 180 days’ pay, those with more than 6 -10 years’ service will receive 240 days’ pay, and employees with more than 10 years’ service will receive 300 days’ pay
  • Termination of Employment: Conditions for termination of employment are laid out in the Act, and a code governs unfair practices and unfair dismissals, which often are the result of the failure to follow correct legal procedures. If an employment contract does not specify any duration, either party can terminate the contract by giving notice at or before any time of payment, which will be effective in the next pay period.
  • Employee Welfare Fund: For companies with at least 10 employees that do not have a provident fund, an Employee Welfare Fund will be established to compensate the employees who resign, are laid off, or die in service. Both employers and employees will be required to contribute to this fund.
In addition to these provisions, there are restrictions on the kind of work that women and children can perform. Guidelines are set for wages and overtime, as well as resolution of labor-management disputes. The employers are required to pay workers compensation if an employee suffers injury, sickness or death in the course of work. Thai law also requires employers to provide welfare facilities, including medical and sanitary facilities.

Workmen’s Compensation

The Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1994 prescribes that an employer must provide the necessary compensation benefits for employees who suffer injury or illness or who die as a result or in the performance of their work at the rates prescribed by law. The compensation benefits can be grouped into 4 categories: the compensation amount, the medical expenses, the work rehabilitation expenses, and the funeral expenses.
The payment of compensation benefits is made in accordance with the criteria and rates prescribed by law depending on the seriousness of the case. In general, the compensation amount must be paid monthly at the rate of 60% of the monthly wages of the employee subject to minimum rate and maximum rate prescribed by the Announcement of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security Welfare.
Actual and necessary medical expenses must be paid but not exceeding 35,000 Baht and 200,000 Baht for other cases depending on the ministry regulation. The work rehabilitation expenses must be paid as necessary according to the criteria procedures and rates prescribed by law but not exceeding 20,000 Baht. In the case of death, the funeral expenses will be paid at a maximum amount equal to 100 times of the minimum daily wage rate prescribed by law.

Social Security

The Social Security Act of 1990, amended in 1999 requires that all employers withhold social security contributions from the monthly wages of each employee. The prescribed rate is currently 5% for the first 15,000 Baht of salary. The employer is required to match the contribution from the employee. Both contributions must be remitted to the Social Security Office within the 15th day of the following month.
The employees with social security registration may file claims for compensation in case of injury, illness, disability or death that is not due to the performance of their work, and for cases of child delivery, child welfare, old age pension and unemployment.

Ceasing Operations Temporarily

When employers adopt this measure in Thailand, they can pay wages at a 75% reduced rate to the affected employees. Lacking understanding of the law can result in court proceedings and the risk of a court order revoking the measure of "temporary cessation of operations.”
For the conditions on adopting this measure, consult Section 75 of the Labor Protection Act. Furthermore, situations arising from events deemed to be a "force majeure”, which result in the employer not being able to operate at all, may enable the employer to withhold all wages from employees.

Termination of Employment

If an employment contract does not specify any duration, either party can terminate the contract by giving notice at or before any time of payment to take effect in the next pay period, but not required to issue a notice in advance for more than three months. However, there are some reasons which the employee can be dismissed without prior notice and compensation from the employer as follows:

(a)The employee willfully disobeys or habitually neglects the lawful commands of his employer;
(b)The employee absents himself from service;
(c)The employee is guilty of gross misconduct;
(d) The employee acts in a manner incompatible with the due and faithful discharge of his duty.
In addition to the above, the employer is not required to pay severance pay to the employee whose employment is terminated by the employer for any of the following reasons;
(a) The employee has dishonestly carried out in his/her duties or committed an intentional
criminal act against the employer;
(b) The employee has intentionally caused damage to the employer;
(c) The employee has gross negligently performed an act which results in
severe loss to the employer;
(d) The employee has violated the employer’s work regulations, rules or
orders which are both lawful and equitable subsequent to a written warning
(no warning is required for serious violations);
(e) The employee has abandoned his/her duties for three consecutive days without reasonable
(f) The employee has been imprisoned by a final judgment of a court.
One of the grounds for dismissal with cause under the Labour Protection Act is repeated violation of work rules as stated in item (d) above, for which a previous letter of warning has been issued for the particular act. The letter will be effective for a period of 1 year from the date on which the employee commits the violation, not from when the letter was written. However, in case of a serious violation, a written warning notice is not required.

Requirements for Warning Letter: Section 119 (4) of the Labour Protection Act provides for the dismissal for serious cause of an employee who has committed a repeat violation of an offence for which a written warning has already been given, but does not give guidance for the form requirements for the warning letter itself. Based on previous decisions of the Supreme Court1, it is evident that:
  1. Prior to issuing the warning letter, the employer should first consider the work rules. If they contain a disciplinary procedure consisting of several stages which have to be followed step by step, the employer must follow each step.
  2. The warning letter must contain:
(a) Date of issuance of the warning letter;
(b) Name and position of the employee;
(c) A description of the behavior of the employee that constitutes a violation of the work rules;
(d) A reference to the work rules which the employee has violated;
(e) A statement that of the employee commits the same violation of the work rules again, the
employer will punish the employee pursuant to the procedure in the work rules.
Further, the employer should ask the employee to sign the warning letter as an acknowledgement. The employer can read the letter to the employee, and ask two witnesses to sign the letter to confirm it has been read and that the employee refuses to sign. A letter from the employee acknowledging violations does not constitute a warning letter.
If the employee is a member of an Employee Committee formed in accordance with the Labour Relations Act, the employer may not discipline the employee, including by issuing a warning letter, even where there has been a determination of guilt. The employer must submit a petition to the Labour Court seeking an order approving the discipline of the employee. If approved, the employer may then proceed as described above.
In the event that the employer relocates its place of business in a way that essentially affects the normal living of an employee, the employer must notify the employee of the relocation at least 30 days in advance or pay an amount in lieu of the advance warning of 30 days’ wages. If the employee refuses to move and work in the new location, the employee has the right to terminate the employment contract within 30 days as from the date of being informed by the employer or the date of relocation, as the case may be. In this regard, the employee is entitled to receive a special severance pay at the rate of not less than the rate of severance pay.
In the event the employer terminates an employment as a consequence of streamlining the work units, production process and distribution service, due to an introduction or change of machinery or technology that reduces the required number of employees, the employer must notify the Labor Inspector and the employee concerned at least 60 days in advance of the date of termination or pay an amount in lieu of an advance notice, that is equal to 60 days’ wages to the employee. Moreover, the terminated employee will be entitled to the prescribed severance pay. In additional to that, if the terminated employee has worked consecutively for more than 6 years, the employee would be entitled to an additional special severance pay at the rate of not less than 15 days’ wages for each full year of service, calculated from the start of year seven onwards. However, the total amount of this additional special severance pay is limited to the equivalent of 360 days’ wages.

2020 Minimum Daily Wage
No. Number of Provinces Minimum Wage(Baht/Day) Area
1. 2 336 Chon Buri and Phuket
2. 1 335 Rayong
3. 6 331 Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon
4. 1 330 Chachoengsao
5. 14 325 Krabi, Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Trat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ayutthaya, Phang-nga, Lop Buri, Songkhla, Saraburi, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Nong Khai and Ubon Ratchathani
6. 1 324 Prachin Buri
7. 6 323 Kalasin, Chanthaburi, Nakhon Nayok, Mukdahan, Sakhon Nakhon and Samut Songkhram
8. 21 320 Kanchanaburi, Chainat, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Sawan, Nan, Bung Kan, Buri Ram, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phatthalung, Phitsanuloke, Phetchaburi, Phetchabun, Phayao, Yasothon, Roi-et, Loei, Sa Kaew, Surin, Ang Thong, Udon Thani and Uttradit
9. 22 315 Kamphaeng Phet, Chaiyaphum, Chumpon, Chiang Rai, Trang, Tak, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phichit, Phrae, Maha Sarakham, Mae Hong Son, Ranong, Ratchaburi, Lampang, Lamphun, Si Sa Ket, Sathun, Sing Buri, Sukhothai, Nong Bua Lamphu, Uthai Thani and Amnat Charoen
10. 3 313 Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala

Last updated 08 May 2020

Source :
DBD: Foreign Business Act BE 2542 link
MOL: Labor Laws link

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Tips on Recruiting and Developing Staff

The ability of a company to attract and retain staff is considerably enhanced by tailoring compensation packages to meet individual employee needs. Increasingly, factors such as work environment, organizational policies, relationships with superiors, and career path influence decisions whether to join, or remain with, a company. In a challenging living environment such as Bangkok, these "quality of life” issues take on even more importance.

Organizing training programs to upgrade skills helps to motivate staff and demonstrates a company’s commitment to its employees. Admission to such programs can be seen both as a reward for good performance and as part of the total compensation package.

In addition, many employers find there is benefit to holding "teambuilding” exercises outside the workplace, typically at a resort outside of Bangkok. Some companies combine this with merit-making, with the company and its employees joining hands to make a charitable donation to a temple or needy school, providing goods (clothing, blankets, rice, water tanks or water filtration systems, etc.) to make life more comfortable for villagers in remote areas of Thailand, or using their technical skill to help build or repair items in local communities.

Last updated November 2018

Source :
BOI : Labor Costs link

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Skills Development

In 2002, the Thai government enacted a Skills Development Act that encourages business operators or employers to play a vital role in upgrading the skills and knowledge of the workforce by granting tax deduction of up to 200% of the training cost that occurred at the workplace. The idea was to stimulate the private sector and establishments to set up and register with the DSD as training providers for workplace learning.

The Skill Development Promotion Act, thus, encourages workplaces to establish themselves as training providers and conduct skill development in the workplace by giving incentives stipulated by the Minister under Section 7 with following privileges:

  1. Income tax exemption on the percentage of training expenses 
  2. Assistance granted by the Department of Skill Development in providing the training of training personnel, skill standard testing provider, supervisors and others as well as on curriculum and equipment development

  3. Consultation service from Department of Skill Development on skill development activities
  4. Other privileges indicated in Ministerial Regulations
  5. Exemption on import duty and value added tax (VAT) for tools and machinery brought into the kingdom for training purpose
  6. Deduction on utility charges for electricity and pipe water bills in the amount of two times of the training expenses
Under the Act, it is compulsory for establishments with at least 100 employees to provide training for the employees at the rate of 50% of the total number of employees, if not the employer has to make a contribution to the Skill Development Fund of approximately 480 Baht per head per year for the number of untrained employees. Furthermore, the establishments gain other benefit under this Act such as exemption tax of the training machines, bringing experts or trainers to train their workers, free of charge of water and electric fees.

Last updated November 2018

Source :
MOL : Skill Development Promotion Act B.E.2545 (A.D. 2002) link

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Recruiting Technically-skilled Manpower

There are 2 main English language daily newspapers that contain significant numbers of advertisements, both in English and in Thai. Both The Bangkok Post and The Nation boast circulation figures of close to 60,000 copies per day, and advertising rates of the two newspapers are similar. In addition to reaching prospective employees through the print editions of these newspapers, it should be noted that the newspapers have classified advertisements on their on-line home pages.
In addition, the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, has a web site listing both job fairs and employment opportunities. It can be found at:
Numerous domestic and international personnel recruitment services operate in Bangkok. In addition to securing personnel, these companies offer services such as advice on issues of organizational structure, labor relations, and the cultural implications of managing labor in Thailand.
Developing contacts with educational institutes to identify and court potential candidates as early as possible is also recommended. For firms with ongoing labor needs, establishing a network of contacts can be especially valuable.
In addition to tailoring compensation packages to individual need and emphasizing long-term and organizational benefits, high-end technical employees, such as scientists and engineers, need to be given work commensurate with their skills. By allowing them greater challenges, and less narrowly defining their role so that it may include responsibilities in systems design and possibly management, technical personnel become more productive and are more likely to view themselves as integral to the company as a whole.
Concrete, long-term benefits are an effective retention tool. Long-term benefits motivate personnel to work through problems and to identify self-interest with company interest. Committing resources to long-term benefits also insures that companies realize increased production levels from staff as they gain experience.

Last updated November 2018

Source :
Recruitment Agencies in Thailand link
กรมการจัดหางาน : ข้อมูลบริษัทจัดหางาน link

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Regulations on Employment of People with Disabilities

In accordance with sections 33, 34 and 45 of the Persons with Disabilities Empowerment Act, B.E. 2550 (2007) and its amended version (No. 2), B.E. 2556 (2013), the Ministerial Regulation of the National Office for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities dated April 26, 2011, has placed a positive obligation on employers to hire disabled employees in their workplace. The new regulations require employers to hire one disabled employee for every 100 employees.
  • The number of employees is determined as at 1 October each year.
  • The disabled employees must be hired by 31 January the following year.
  • After the first 100 employees, the hiring obligation is triggered by every 50 employees thereafter. (For example, an employer with 100 employees would be required to hire one disabled employee and an employer with 150 employees would be required to hire two disabled employees).
  • Employers who fail to hire the required number of disabled employees will have to pay the Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities no later than 31 January, in an amount equal to the statutory minimum daily wage multiplied by 365 days for each disabled employee who is not hired.

Last updated November 2018


Source :
Fund for the Promotion and Development of the Quality of Life of the Disabled: Related Laws link
Ministry of Labor: Determine the number of people with disabilities that employers or owners of enterprises and government agencies must accept to work. link
Department of Employment: Service Manual under Section 33 and Section 35 link


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