Thailand has one of the great development success stories. Because of smart economic policies it has become an upper middle income economy and is making progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Thai economy has been moderately free for two decades and its GDP growth has been solid.
Pro-business reforms in 2018 have made it easier to start a business, get electricity, pay taxes, and trade across borders.
Here’s more information on Thailand’s highly potential economy:
Currency: Thai Baht (THB) 1 ฿ = 0.032 USD
Economic Capital: Bangkok
Spoken Language: Thai, English
GDP: 2.4% growth rate (2019) (Source: World Bank)
Time Zone: UTC (+7:00)
Minimum Wage: Minimum wages range from 313 baht to 336 baht per day. Wages vary from province to province.
Payroll Cycle: Usually monthly
Pay Date: It is determined by the contract between the employer and the employee. Further, the date for overtime pay, holiday pay, and holiday overtime pay are agreed upon beforehand.
Working Hours: 48 hours per week or 8 hours per day. For hazardous work, it is 7 hours per day and 42 hours per week. All employees are entitled to a daily rest period of at least 1 hour after working for 5 consecutive hours.
Overtime Compensation: On a normal workday, any hour beyond 8 is paid at 150% of the employee’s hourly compensation. A shift of up to 8 hours worked on a holiday or day off is compensated at 200% of the base rate, and work beyond 8 hours on a holiday or day off is paid at 300% of the base hourly rate.
Public Holidays: Employees are entitled at least 13 public holidays by the employer. Here is the list of public holidays published by the authorities.
Sick Leaves: Employees are entitled to up to 30 days paid sick leave a year.
Maternity Leaves: An expectant mother is entitled to maternity leave of up to a maximum of 98 days (inclusive of holidays). This leave includes leave taken for pre-natal care. The employer must provide equal pay to the expectant mother for up to 45 days throughout the leave period.
Paternity Leave: State officials or public sector employees can take up to 15 days off at full salary within 30 days of the child’s birth. Officials taking extra days off to take care of their new-borns would not be entitled to the salary payment. In the private sector, there is no paid paternity leave by statute, although employers are free to offer paid/unpaid time off.
Marriage Leave: Up to 3 days of leave.
Adoption leave: There is no statutory adoption leave for the parents.
Childcare Leave: No separate child care leaves.
Death: Bereavement leave can be availed for up to 4 weeks at 100% of base salary.
Work-Related Injury Leave: If the employee needs to receive medical treatment due to work-related injury or occupational disease, their work-related injury leave should not exceed more than 12 months. Injured employees are paid 100% of their daily wages.
The tax year is the calendar year. Income tax is calculated by applying a progressive tax rate schedule to taxable income as follows:
Taxes for Non-residents: Employment income shall be taxed at the progressive tax rate, the same tax rate as residents of Thailand. Non-resident may be taxed at 15% on gross income.
Corporate Income Tax: 20%
Income Tax Return (ITR): Consolidated returns are not permitted for corporate income tax purposes; each company must file its own tax return. A taxpayer must self-assess and make an advance corporate income tax payment for the first 6 months of the tax year.
Payroll tax: Tax on employment income is withheld by the employer and remitted monthly to the tax authorities.
Value Added Tax (VAT): Standard Rate is 7%. Export rate is 0%.
Property tax: It imposes various tax rates based on the nature of the assets. The maximum tax rate depends on the type of land/building and the appraisal value:
Social protection: Firms need to register their employees with the Workmen Compensation and Social Security Fund (SSF). Both employers and employees have to contribute a rate of 5% of the staff member’s income, up to a maximum of THB750 per month.
Bonus: At employer’s discretion.
Additional: Some organisations pay allowances for housing and transport, medical insurance schemes, and any retirement or pension schemes.
Retirement Age: 60 years old.
Employee Provident Fund: Both employers and employees are required to make equal monthly contributions, ranging between 5 and 15% of the worker’s monthly remuneration.
Pension: There should be at least 180 months of contributions. If a pensioner starts a new job, the pension is suspended until the end of employment. The pension is 20% of the insured’s average monthly wage in the last 60 months before retirement.
Notice Period: 1-3 months.
Probation Period: Thai law does not explicitly mention probationary periods. It does state that severance must be paid to employees who have worked for 120 days or more. Thus, in order to avoid paying it, many employers set probation period of up to 119 days.
Severance Pay: An employee can be terminated without a specific cause. The severance pay in Thailand is as follows –
Types of Business: Partnership, Limited Companies, Joint Ventures, Representative Office, Branch Office, International Headquarters, Regional Offices.
Co-working Cost: There are numerous co-working spaces to choose from, especially in Bangkok. They offer facilities like meeting rooms, printers, copiers, event spaces and good Wi-Fi connections.
A hot desk ranges anything between ฿289 to ฿350 per day. A person can take a weekly or a monthly membership to book a place. Monthly membership ranges between ฿3600 to ฿6500.
Employment Visas: To work in Thailand, you will need a Non-Immigrant ‘B’ or Business Visa. The visa fee is 2,000 Baht for single-entry (with 90-day single entry) and 5,000 Baht for multiple entries (with a 1-year validity).
One can also opt for SMART Visa Program – which is a new type of visa targeted at investors, skilled people, and startup entrepreneurs wishing to work or invest in certain industries. Smart Visa holders will be granted the permission to stay in the country for a maximum amount of 4 years, exemption from work permit requirements, and other privileges.
Sources: Deloitte, KPMG, World Bank, Reuters, Coworker, Thaiembassy.com, ilo.org