When engaging employees in Thailand, it is vital to provide them with an appropriate benefits package to comply with the country's labor laws. Learn what you need to know to fulfill these legal obligations and go the extra mile for your Thai team.
What employee benefits are mandatory in Thailand?
Mandatory benefits programs are required by Thai labor law. Many of these benefits are funded through social security contributions. Employers and employees are required to match monthly contributions—both paying 5% of an employee’s salary, monthly.
If you employ a Thai worker and fail to offer them these mandatory employee benefits, you could wind up with a hefty fine.
Keep in mind that the benefits required by the government of Thailand are statutory minimums, and employers can always offer more than these mandatory benefits. Also, note that these benefits are mandatory for full-time employees—independent contractors in Thailand aren't entitled to these benefits. Also, note that these benefits are mandatory for employees—independent contractors in Thailand aren't entitled to any benefits.
Known as an “old age allowance,” the Thai government disburses taxpayer-funded monthly payments to retirees.
Thailand also requires a 7% contribution into a social insurance pension scheme for private sector employees. The rate is calculated based on the employee’s average salary over the past 5 years. Employees and employers each must make a 3% contribution, and the Thai government funds the remaining 1%. The minimum retirement age for this is 55, and employees need to make 15 years’ worth of contributions to be eligible (or else they receive a lesser lump sum).
Thai employees who’ve contributed to social security for at least a year are entitled to ฿600 per month per child aged 15 and under, for up to 3 children.
Medical treatment benefits
Thai employees who’ve been injured for non-work related reasons are entitled to half their normal salary, with benefits that help cover:
- Medical exams
- Disease prevention
- Hospitalization expenses
- Ambulance expenses
Thailand’s social security program funds funeral expenses and death allowances to beneficiaries of an employee who died due to non-work-related reasons. Allowances are determined based on the deceased employee’s monthly salary and the amount of social security contributions they’ve made.
The employee can specify, in writing, who they’d like the beneficiaries to be. Without specification, payments are shared equally among the spouse, parents, and children.
Thai employees with disabilities are entitled to partial (generally less than 50% of their salary) coverage for:
- Medical exams
- Medical treatment
- Hospital expenses
- Ambulance expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
Vacation and other leave entitlements
Thai employees are entitled to 6 days of paid time off a year, and 6 additional days if they’ve completed a full year of service.
New and expectant mothers get 98 days of paid maternity leave, with the employer paying a full salary for the first 45 days, and social security funding 50% of the salary for the remaining 53 days.
Thai labor law also gives employees 30 days of sick leave per year, with a doctor’s confirmation after 3 days. Other types of paid time off qualified Thai employees are entitled to include leave for:
- Military service
- Monkhood (for Buddhist men)
- Huji (for Muslim employees)
Thailand has a Workman’s Compensation Fund (WCF) that covers lost wages and medical expenses for employees who’ve suffered a work-related illness, injury, or death. Employers are required to make annual contributions to the fund.
If a Thai employee has made at least 6 months of social security contributions before being let go, they’re entitled to unemployment benefits after the eighth day of losing their job. Employees are not eligible if they were involuntarily terminated for misconduct, violence, or other severe causes.
Supplementary benefits in Thailand
In addition to the required benefits, many Thai employers also provide additional benefit plans and perks to help them attract and retain employees. Some of the most common supplementary benefits are below.
Most employers compete for top talent in Thailand by offering private health insurance plans. Coverage is medical expenses at licensed hospitals and clinics, and may include things like physical therapy, dental, and optical coverage. Employers contribute to these plans. Employees often do as well if they want better coverage.
Group life insurance plans
Employers may also provide group life insurance that covers most causes of accidental death for all employees. These employer contributions are voluntary, and employees themselves generally don’t contribute.
Thai employers may offer additional long-term disability insurance, which can provide financial assistance for employees while they are unable to work. Premium costs range from 0.8% and 1.2%, and plans can cover three-quarters of an employee’s salary plus 10% of their superannuation contribution with a one-to-three-month wait and a five-year benefit period.
Paid time off
Many employers offer paid time off beyond Thailand's statutory minimums to make their workplaces more attractive to top workers. Paid time off can include additional vacation time, extra parental leave, paid personal days, or flexible leave policies.
Employers who offer some of the following fringe benefits will have an easier time attracting top talent in Thailand:
- Transportation stipends
- Wellness stipends
- Education assistance
- Flexible work
- Subsidized cafeterias
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Running a global workforce isn't easy. It can be a challenge for global companies just to keep their benefits compliant—let alone managing offer letters, equipment, payroll, and everything else global employees and contractors need.
That's why, if you're going to hire employees, contractors, or remote workers globally, you need Rippling. Rippling makes it easy to onboard, manage, and pay employees and contractors around the world—in one system that's always compliant with local employment laws and regulations.
Disclaimer: Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.