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Thai Employee Holiday and Benefits Leave Guide


This guide is designed to assist you in better managing the holidays and benefits of your employees in Thailand. In Thailand’s diverse working environment, understanding and effectively implementing employee holiday policies are essential for maintaining employee satisfaction and complying with local laws. From public holidays to personal leaves, this guide covers the key points of managing various types of holidays, ensuring your team remains efficient while complying with regulations.


I. Traditional Public Holidays


New Year (January 1): Like many countries around the world, Thailand celebrates the New Year on January 1. It’s a day for family and friends to gather and celebrate the arrival of the new year.

Magha Puja: Usually held on the full moon day in February or March. This Buddhist holiday commemorates a meeting between Buddha and 1,250 of his disciples.

Chakri Day (April 6): Thai people commemorate the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty. It’s a day to show respect to the royal family.

Songkran/Water Festival (April 13-15): Thailand’s traditional New Year, known for its unique water-throwing rituals, symbolizing the washing away of misfortunes and welcoming the new year.

Labour Day (May 1): International Labour Day, also a public holiday in Thailand.

Thai King’s Coronation: Not a fixed annual event, but a commemoration day for the coronation of a specific king. Thai people celebrate the king’s coronation.

Visakha Bucha: One of the three major Buddhist festivals, usually celebrated on the full moon day in June, commemorating Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and nirvana.

King’s Birthday: The birthday of the current King of Thailand is considered a national holiday, celebrated with various ceremonies and activities.

Asalha Puja: Commemorates Buddha’s first sermon, usually celebrated on the full moon day in July.

Queen Mother’s Birthday: Celebrated as a public holiday, usually accompanied by various cultural and official activities.

King Rama IX Memorial Day: A national memorial day to commemorate the beloved King Rama IX of Thailand.

King Rama V Day (October 23): Thai people commemorate King Rama V, considered a great reformer of modern Thailand.

King Rama IX Birthday: Celebrating the birth of King Rama IX, a public holiday where people express respect through various activities.

Constitution Day (December 10): Thailand celebrates the day of implementing its constitution, marking an important milestone in its democratic development.

New Year’s Eve (December 31): A celebration night with activities and fireworks displays across Thailand.


II. Sick Leave


In Thailand, sick leave is a basic right for employees needing rest due to health issues. Here are some detailed regulations regarding sick leave:

Eligibility and Conditions for Sick Leave: All employees, whether full-time or part-time, are entitled to apply for sick leave. Employees can rest and take care of their health without worrying about work when sick or injured.

Duration of Sick Leave: Thai law stipulates up to 30 days of paid sick leave per year. If sick leave exceeds this duration, the employer may decide whether to provide additional unpaid sick leave.

Medical Certificate Requirement: For sick leave of three consecutive days or more, employers may require a medical certificate from a qualified doctor or official medical institution.

Sick Leave Application Procedure: Employees usually need to follow the company’s prescribed procedure when applying for sick leave. This may include notifying the employer in advance, submitting a written application, and providing relevant medical certificates after the leave.

Sick Leave in Emergencies: In cases of sudden illness or emergencies, employees might not be able to immediately provide a medical certificate. In such cases, employees should submit the certificate as soon as possible and explain the reasons for the leave to the employer.

Wage Payment During

Sick Leave: During paid sick leave, employees generally receive their normal salary. This helps ensure employees can focus on recovery without financial stress.

Handling Long-Term Illness: For long-term or serious illnesses, employees and employers may need to communicate further to arrange extended sick leave or work adjustments.

III. Maternity and Paternity Leave


In Thailand, maternity and paternity leaves are important benefits established to protect the rights of pregnant employees and new parents. Here are some detailed regulations regarding these leaves:

Maternity Leave for Female Employees:
Pregnant employees are entitled to up to 98 days of maternity leave, including before and after childbirth.

The legally mandated paid maternity leave is 45 days, with 100% of the employee’s regular salary paid.

For the remaining days of maternity leave, employees can choose unpaid leave or rely on the social insurance system for partial wage compensation.

Paternity Leave for Male Employees:
Thailand’s public sector usually offers 15 days of fully paid paternity leave for employees who are about to become fathers.

Paternity leave policies vary in the private sector, with some companies offering similar benefits, but there is no legal mandate.

Parental Leave:
Currently, Thailand does not have a specific parental leave policy, but some companies may offer such leave as part of their benefits system.

Maternity Leave Application Process:
Employees need to notify their employer of their expected delivery date and planned leave period in advance.

Employees can choose the start time of maternity leave, in accordance with company regulations.

Job Security During Maternity Leave:
Thai law protects the job security of employees during maternity leave, prohibiting dismissal due to pregnancy or maternity leave.

Employees have the right to return to their original or an equivalent position after maternity leave.

Breastfeeding Arrangements After Maternity Leave:
Thai law requires employers to provide appropriate time and space for breastfeeding employees to nurse or express milk.

Health Insurance During Maternity Leave:
Thailand’s social insurance system provides partial wage compensation and medical coverage for eligible employees during maternity leave.


IV. Annual Leave


Annual leave is a period of rest for employees within a certain work cycle, intended to provide opportunities for leisure and rejuvenation. In Thailand, the provisions for annual leave are as follows:

Basic Rights to Annual Leave:
Thai law stipulates that employees who have worked continuously for a year are entitled to at least six working days of annual leave per year.

The number of annual leave days may increase with the employee’s years of service at the same company.

Application and Approval of Annual Leave:
Employees must apply for annual leave in advance to the employer, following the company’s prescribed procedures.

Employers may approve or adjust annual leave times based on work needs and the time requested by employees.

Annual Leave and Wages:
Employees typically receive their normal wages during annual leave.

The law requires that annual leave must be paid.

Accumulation and Carryover of Annual Leave:

Some companies may allow employees to accumulate or carry over unused annual leave to the next year.

Thai labor law does not explicitly stipulate terms for the accumulation or carryover of annual leave; this depends on company policy.

Distinction Between Annual Leave and Other Types of Leave:
Annual leave does not include public holidays, sick leave, or other special leaves.

When planning annual leave, employees should consider the impact of these holidays on their annual leave days.

Unused Annual Leave:
If employees are unable to use all their annual leave by the end of the year, some companies may pay wages equivalent to the unused leave or allow employees to carry over the leave.

Annual Leave and Resignation:
Upon resignation, employers typically need to pay wages for the employee’s unused annual leave on a prorated basis.


V. Other Leave Benefits


In addition to the aforementioned types of leave, Thai labor law stipulates several other benefits leave:

Personal Leave: Thai law does not explicitly stipulate personal leave, but many companies provide it according to their policies. It is usually used for personal matters or family emergencies.

Bereavement Leave:

Employees are usually entitled to bereavement leave in the event of a relative’s death. Thai law does not specify the exact number of days for bereavement leave; it depends on the company’s policy.

Marriage Leave: Some companies in Thailand offer marriage leave, allowing newlywed employees to take time off to celebrate their wedding. The duration of this leave is typically determined by internal company policies.

Public Duty Leave: This type of leave is for participating in public service activities, such as voting or military service. Under Thai law, employees have the right to take leave to fulfill public duties.

Educational Leave: In certain cases, employees may be granted educational leave to improve skills or qualifications. The provision of this leave typically depends on company policies and the specific circumstances of the employee.

Mandatory Leave: In special situations (such as economic crises or company restructuring), companies may require employees to take mandatory leave. This is often used as a measure to avoid layoffs.

Unpaid Leave: Employees may apply for unpaid leave under certain circumstances. This type of leave is mainly used for personal reasons and does not include wage payment.


This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of employee holidays and benefits for HR managers in Thai enterprises. We hope this information helps you more effectively plan and manage employee leave, ensuring compliance with regulations while enhancing employee satisfaction and work efficiency. As HR professionals, understanding and adapting to these policies is crucial for creating a positive and efficient work environment.

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