What does the Thai labor law say about workday, overtime, and leave?

Relations between employers and employees are covered by the Thai Labor Protection Act (LPA). The latest manifestation was revision to the Thai LPA was in 2010. The basic presumption of Thai Labor Law is that the Employer is in a superior position in relation to the Employee therefore Employees require the law to equalize the imbalance of power. The Labor Protection Act regulates minimum standards for pay and working hours for employees.

The Labor Protection Act is intentionally broad in defining the Employer and Employee. An Employee is a person who agrees to work for an Employer for wages, irrespective of job title. This includes all types of employees including permanent employees, part-time employees, special employment contracts, employees in probation, and employees under fix-term contracts. An Employer is a person agreeing to hire an employee for work and paying the employee with wages. Employers also include the employer’s agents, wholesale employers, and sub-contractors to recoup wages for Employees.

Upon the hiring, the Employer shall notify Employees of the normal working time. The general rule is that a working day shall not exceed 8 hours per day and no more than 48 hours per week. There are exceptions for certain occupations. Managers who have supervisory authority can work over 8 hours per day without overtime. However, white collar employees and professionals who do not have supervisory authority are not exempted from the working time limits or from overtime pay.

An Employee needs to consent to working overtime. An Employee is not required to work overtime unless it the occupation duties require the job to be performed continuously, for emergency reasons, or allowed by the Ministry of Labor. For each hour of work over the maximum working day, the Employer shall pay the Employee the minimum rate of one and a half times the hourly wage of a normal working day. If the Employee works during a traditional holiday period, the Employer shall pay the Employee a minimum of two times the hourly wage.

During the work day, the Employer shall provide the employee a rest period of a minimum of one hour rest if the Employer has been working consecutively for up to five hours. The rest period is not counted as working time except when the total rest period is over two hours per day, then the extra time exceeding two hours shall be counted as working time. This is to prevent Employers from placing Employees on “stand by” if there is no business. There are exceptions for restaurants and beverage shops where there may be multiple shifts.

The Employee must have a minimum of one day off per week. In addition, the Employer shall designate thirteen days per year as traditional holidays. After the first year of employment, the Employee shall be provided a minimum of six paid personal leave days. If the Employee does not use the allotted personal leave days, the Employee can carry the days forward for a maximum of two years. If the Employee is terminated before using the personal leave days, the Employer shall reimburse the Employee for the unused days.

The Employee is allotted up to thirty days of sick leave per year. An employee is entitled to sick leave as long as they are actually sick. If the Employee is sick for three days or more, the Employer may require that the Employee produce a medical certificate from a first class physician or an established medical establishment providing an explanation of the illness. Injury or illness as a result of work or child birth is not considered sick leave because it is covered by other provisions in the Labor Protection Act. There are other types of leave provided in the Labor Protection Act and the Civil and Commercial Code.

If you are an Employee or an Employer and have questions about your labor matter, please contact our office to talk to one of our experienced Thai lawyers or attorneys. We will review your case history and discuss the options available to you.


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Category: Civil and Commercial Law, Labor Protection, Litigation

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Siam Legal is an international law firm with experienced lawyers, attorneys, and solicitors both in Thailand law and international law. This Thailand law firm offers comprehensive legal services in Thailand to both local and foreign clients for Litigation such as civil & criminal cases, labor disputes, commercial cases, divorce, adoption, extradition, fraud, and drug cases. Other legal expertise of the law firm varied in cases involving corporate law such as company registration & Thailand BOI, family law, property law, and private investigation.

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