Holiday Leave in Thailand
The holiday leave policy in Thailand is also known as vacation leave or paid annual leave. Based on the country's annual leave policy, after an employee has completed one full year of consecutive work, they are entitled to no fewer than six days of paid annual leave per year.
For an employee who has worked for less than one full year of consecutive service, an employer may choose to provide the employee with paid annual leave on a prorated basis.
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Rolling Over Unused Annual Leave
Section 30 of Thailand's Labor Protection Act (LPA) states that the employer must schedule (or "fix") the employee's annual paid leave time in advance. Somewhat surprisingly, the law does not require the employee's consent for the employer to schedule their annual leave time. However, annual paid leave may be taken on specified dates if both parties agree to these dates in advance.
According to a decision made by the Supreme Court of Thailand, it is a violation of Section 30 of the LPA for an employer to refuse to carry over its employees' annual leave to the following years. An employee has the right to claim their rightful wages for any unused annual leave days that were carried over from prior years, and the employer has no right to reduce or deduct from the employee's entitlement for any reason.
Section 193/34 (9) of the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand dictates that the employee must exercise their right to claim these wages for any unused annual leave time within two years of becoming entitled to these wages.
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Unused Annual Leave
An employee in Thailand can be terminated without a specific cause. Upon the employee's termination, the employer must honor any and all payments they owe to the employee within three days of the termination of employment. These payments include but are not limited to
- Unpaid wages or overtime pay
- Severance pay
- Unused annual leave days
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Failure To Fix Annual Leave in Advance
According to Section 146 of the LPA, an employer who fails to fix the employee's annual leave in advance may face a maximum criminal fine of 20,000 Thai baht (THB).
Section 64 of the LPA also stipulates that in this situation, the employer is required to pay the employee holiday wages. Even if the employee does not take personal vacation time, the employer is still required to pay the employee's wages for any unused annual leave days.
Public holidays are not considered part of an employee's paid annual leave in Thailand. An employee should be paid for these public holidays and non-working days above and beyond their entitlement to paid annual leave time.
The table below contains all of the public holidays and non-working days for the country in 2023.
Thailand Public Holiday Calendar for 2023
In general, when a public holiday occurs during a weekend, the following business day is considered a paid annual leave day for the employee.
The employee may take the substitute leave day at a later date if they so prefer and if the employer agrees. However, the employee must take the substitute leave day within the same calendar year, and unlike regular annual paid leave, the substitute leave day cannot be carried over into the following year.
Types of Leave in Thailand
Employees in Thailand are entitled to various types of annual leave, which we will explain in greater detail below.
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Personal Business Leave
Any type of personal business leave cannot be treated as part of an employee's paid annual leave time. For example, if an employee must take time off from work to care for a sick child or family member, this is obviously not a vacation, which means it must not be categorized as annual leave. Section 34 of the LPA provides an employee with the entitlement to no fewer than three days of personal business leave per year, to be taken as needed.
Whether to pay an employee for personal business leave is the employer's decision. However, after the employer grants the employee's request for personal business leave time, the employer cannot then deduct those personal business leave days from the employee's annual paid leave time.
The sick leave policy in Thailand is remarkably generous. As long as an employee is legitimately sick, they are entitled to unlimited sick leave. The only caveat is that an employee may be paid for no more than 30 sick days during any given year. If an illness makes it necessary for an employee to miss three or more days of work, the employer may require the employee to produce a certificate from a qualified medical professional.
Sick leave does not comprise any time an employee is unable to work due to work-related illness or injury.
When a female employee is pregnant, she must inform her employer about her pregnancy. She is entitled to ask her employer to adjust her work, either before or after childbirth, if she has a certificate from a qualified medical practitioner that states she cannot perform her previous position.
Maternity leave in Thailand provides a female employee with the entitlement to take 98 days off from work, including public holidays, following the birth of a child. This length of time increased in 2019 from the former maternity leave period of 90 paid days off.
The maternity leave policy in Thailand states that the employer's obligation to pay the employee within that period shall not exceed 45 days. Social security pays the employee 50% of her usual wages for the remainder of the 90-day period.
The maternity leave period of 98 days includes time off the employee requires to attend prenatal doctor visits. The 98-day period also includes any public holidays that occur within the leave period.
The policy for paternity leave in Thailand stipulates that an employee who works in the public sector (otherwise known as a state worker) is entitled to take up to 15 days of paternity leave following the birth of a child.
There is no entitlement to paid paternity leave for private sector employees.
Employees in Thailand are entitled to take leave following sterilization surgery. The employer should pay the affected employee at a rate equal to their regular wages for as long as the period a qualified medical practitioner prescribes, which the employee or practitioner should provide to the employer via a certificate.
There is no specific entitlement in Thailand for adoptive parents to take paid time off from work following the adoption of a child or children.
Bereavement leave is not specified by law in Thailand. Rather, it depends on company policy, and an agreement between the employer and the employee generally dictates allowed bereavement leave.
Male employees are entitled to take military service leave in Thailand for inspection, readiness testing, or military drilling.
The military leave policy in Thailand requires employers to pay the employee at a rate equal to their regular wages for this, not exceeding 60 days per year.
Employees in Thailand are entitled to take unpaid time off for training or skill development. The training program in question must have a definite duration.
An employer can deny an employee's training leave request if the employee previously took 30 days of training leave or took training leave on three or more occasions. The employer can also deny the employee's training leave request if granting it would negatively affect the company's business operations.
Jury Duty Leave and Voting Leave
There is no legally mandated leave policy in Thailand to allow employees to vote or participate in jury duty. Whether to allow an employee to take leave for either of these reasons is up to the employer.
Let Skuad Handle Employee Leave in Thailand
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