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Overview of Thailand

Thailand lies in south-east Asia and boarders on Myanmar and Vietnam. The country is made up out of the mainland and approx. 1430 islands. It used to be called Siam and is the only south-eastern country that was never colonised by a western force. The capital is Bangkok and the country has a population of 69.43 million. One tenth of the total population lives in or around Bangkok. Central Thai is the official language of Thailand. Many however also speak English. It is a constitutional monarchy and insulting the monarch or the monarchy can result in prison time or a fine. Thailand is also for its opulent palaces and temples, tropical beaches, ruins and its friendliness.

The Thais are a peace-loving culture and try to avoid conflict. Thailand is known as the “Land of the smiles” as the people of Thailand always seems ready with a smile. General courtesy is very important as well as showing respect. When doing business, dress well as appearances are important. The Thais want to build a personal relationship before doing business so be prepared for small talk.

Currency of Thailand

  • Baht

Health Insurance and the Social Security system of Thailand

The Thai healthcare system underwent a complete reform in 2001/2002. Thailand now offers a universal coverage scheme for everyone. It is funded by taxation as well as government funds. Treatment in public health facilities is completely free for Thai citizens holding a Universal Coverage Health card – except on Saturdays, when a charge is made. The National Health Security Office issues the Universal Coverage Health card.

Private health insurance is also possible and the medical tourism in Thailand has grown rapidly in recent years. As public facilities may have long wait times and can be crowded, patients with the financial means seek treatment in privately run hospitals.

Employer cost of Thailand

The cost for an employer to hire someone in Thailand is a plus of 5.00% to the gross salary.

Salary and bonuses of Thailand

The pay date is agreed on between the employer and the employee. The employer must pay the employee’s salary at the workplace, unless agreed upon otherwise. This is usually done in cash. If the employer wants to deposit the salary into the employee’s bank account, they must receive permission from the employee to do so.

Commissions, incentives, and bonuses are variable and will be agreed upon directly with the employer.

Public Holidays in Thailand

  • January 1st – New Years Day
  • Full moon, 3rd Thai lunar month (February) – Magha Puja
  • April 6th – Chakri Memorial Day
  • 13-15 April – Songkran Festival
  • May 4th – Coronation Day
  • May (day announced each year) – Royal Ploughing Ceremony and Farmer’s Day
  • Full moon, 6th Thai lunar month (May) – Vesak
  • June 3rd – Queen Suthida’s Birthday
  • July 28th – King’s Birthday
  • Full moon, 8th Thai lunar month (July) – Asalha Puja
  • First waning moon, 8th Thai lunar month (July) – Beginning of Vasa
  • August 12th – The Queen Mother’s Birthday
  • October 13th – King Bhumibol Adulyadej Memorial Day
  • October 23rd – King Chulalongkorn Day
  • December 5th – King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Birthday Anniversary
  • December 10th – Constitution Day
  • December 31st – New Year’s Eve

Working Hours in Thailand

Office hours are from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

A regular work week is 48 hours.

An employee cannot be forced to work overtime against his will. The employee has to agree to work overtime. The maximum is 36 hours per week. Overtime is paid at 150% of the regular hourly wage. On holidays, it is paid at 200% of the regular hourly wage.

Vacation in Thailand

In Thailand, an employee is entitled to a minimum of 6 days annual leave after he/she has worked for the employer for 12 months. However many employers of professionals agree to 10-15 days annual leave.

Sick Leave in Thailand

When one falls ill in Thailand, one is entitled to 30 days of paid sick leave per year. If the employee takes sick leave for longer than 3 days, a medical certificate can be required to verify the illness. The employer pays the wages of the employee for these 30 days.

Termination/Severance in Thailand

An employee in Thailand can be terminated with or without reason. The employer is not required by law to give a reason for the dismissal. If the grounds are not specified and the employee has worked for the company longer than 120 days, the employee is entitled to severance pay. If an employee has been with the company for less than 120 days, he/she is not entitled to severance pay.

The notice period is usually one pay period – 30 days. It can be up to 3 months or as otherwise agreed upon in the employment contract.

The severance pay is put together as follows:

  • 120 days to 1 year service: 30 days pay

  • 1 year – 3 years service: 90 days pay

  • 3 years – 6 years service: 180 days pay

  • 6 years – 10 years service: 240 days pay

  • 10 years – 20 years service: 300 days pay

  • more than 20 years of service: 400 days pay