THAILAND BIOTECH GUIDE 2006/2007 31
The Act Establishing the Labour Court and Labour
A key success factor for Thailand's biotech industry is the Court Procedure
development and management of its biotech human resources. Provident Fund Act
Many initiatives are now in place to grow the local talent pool. Social Security Act
Thai professionals abroad are encouraged to return home to Workmen's Compensation Act
contribute towards the growth of the local biotech scene. Thai Civil and Commercial Code
Specifically, the National Science and Technology Development
Agency (NSTDA) has initiated a "Reverse Brain Drain Project" The Labour Protection Act underlines the minimum
to encourage Thai professionals with backgrounds in science, employment condition requirements for an employee in the
engineering or medicine to return to share their technical private sector, including minimum and maximum working
skills with their fellow countrymen. More information on the hours, holidays, minimum wages, child and woman labor,
project can be found at the NSTDA's website at www.nstda.or.th/ leaves (sick, maternity, military and business) and severance
rbd (note: the information is written in Thai). In addition, pay. The Labour Relations Act provides the guidelines for
universities across the nation are beginning to offer more the establishment of unions and the negotiation of
relevant courses and degrees in the areas of science and employment contracts. The minimum age of employment
engineering. Both private companies and the Thai government in Thailand is 15 years for standard jobs and 18 years for
are offering scholarships to increase accessibility of education dangerous or hazardous jobs.
in this exciting area.
Under the current labour laws, some of the benefits
To succeed in Thailand, companies starting up should have that all employees are entitled to include:
a good understanding of the legal framework surrounding 13 national holidays per year.
labour issues and an appreciation of Thailand's cultural 1 day off per week (usually Sunday).
perspective. There should also be a thorough planning Minimum of 6 working days of annual paid
process to address common HR issues such as salaries vacation upon completion of 1 year of employment.
and benefits, employee relations, HR practices and termination
concerns prior to initiation of operation. Some of the
common employment laws and issues are detailed below:
Designed to protect workers and preserve their rights, the
following legislations govern labour issues in Thailand:
Labour Protection Act
Labour Relations Act
32 THAILAND BIOTECH GUIDE 2006/2007
Up to 30 days of paid sick leave.
90 days of maternity leave. Pregnant employees are prohibited from working overtime, on holidays, or
between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Maximum of 48 and 42 work hours a week for non-hazardous and hazardous works respectively.
Paid overtime compensation for extra hours but limited to maximum of 36 hours a week.
1 hour of rest after every 5 consecutive hours of work or a total of 1 hour of rest per work day.
Access to welfare facilities at the workplace, including medical and sanitary facilities.
Severance pay entitlement for employees with minimum of 120 days of service. Pay amount is dependent on
duration of service.
Duration of service Severance pay amount
120 days to less than 1 year 30 days of wage
1 - 3 years 90 days of wage
3 - 6 years 6 months wage
6 - 10 years 8 months of wage
> 10 years 10 months of wage
There is an on-going effort to translate the various Acts of Parliament from Thai into English. Translated versions of
some of these Acts can currently be found at the Thai Law Reform Commission (TLRC) website at www.lawreform.go.th
or the website of the Office of the Council of State at www.krisdika.go.th.
Guidelines on the criteria and rate of compensation benefits payment are stipulated in the Act. The general provisions
are as follow:
Category Range of Compensation Benefits
Cash compensation 2,000 to 9,000 baht
Medical expenses Up to 35,000 baht for normal case
Up to 50,000 baht for serious injury
Work rehabilitation expenses Up to 20,000 baht
Funeral expenses Up to 100 times of minimum daily wage rate
Workmen's Compensation Fund Work rehabilitation expenses
In accordance with the Workmen's Compensation Act,
employers in Thailand are required to make annual More details on the Workmen's Compensation Fund and
contributions to the Workmen's Compensation Fund. the various benefit entitlements may be found at the Social
The contribution rate varies from 0.2 – 1% of the employees' Security Office website at www.sso.go.th/eng/index_en.html.
annual wages and is dependent on the categorized risk rating
of the company and the companies prior work related Minimum wages
accident record. This fund is used to provide compensation
benefits to employees or their next-of-kins for injuries, Different minimum wages are applicable to businesses
illnesses or deaths resulted from work related accidents. located in the different provinces. The minimum wage per
Compensation benefits are categorized into 4 groups: day (effective January 1, 2006) ranges from 140 Baht in
Cash compensation the northern provinces of Phayao and Phrae to 184 Baht in
Medical expenses the capital, Bangkok.
THAILAND BIOTECH GUIDE 2006/2007 33
Social Security Fund employment letter from a company registered in Thailand. More
information on the visa application process may be found at the
The Social Security Act provides for the creation of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website at www.mfa.go.th.
Social Security Fund, which provides benefits to the
employee and his dependents for loss of work due to With the aim of facilitating employment and immigration needs
non-work related injury, illness, maternity, disability, death, of foreign investors, the Thailand's Board of Investment
or retirement. The fund is financed through monthly established a One-Stop Service Center jointly with the Immigration
contributions by the employers and employees (including Bureau and the Department of Employment. The Center is
foreigners). Currently, each party contributes 4.5% of the tasked to provide quick turnaround for visas and work permits
employee's monthly wage to the fund, up to a monthly applications and renewals, usually within 3 hours upon receipt
wage ceiling of 15,000 Baht. More details on the Social of the complete and accurate documentations. In addition, the
Security Fund and the various benefit entitlements may be center handles other transactions such as the issuance of multiple
found at the Social Security Office website at www.sso.go.th/ re-entry stamps, changes in visa class and payment of fines.
It should be noted that the services offered by the One Stop
Provident Fund Service Center are only available to foreign investors, experts
and executives who have met certain criteria. Investors are
advised to contact the One Service Center for additional
Under the Labour Protection Act, employers with 10 or information to see if they qualify for the Center's services.
more employees, and their employees, are required to
contribute to an employee welfare fund. This fund will be The Center's contact info is as follow:
used for lump sum or periodical payments to workers who
resign or are laid off. It also serves as compensation to the One Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits Office
dependents of employees who died in service. of the Board of Investment
207 Glas Haus Building Ratchada, 3rd floor, Ratchadapisek
Hiring Foreigners Road Din Daeng, Din Daeng, Bangkok 10400
Tel: 0-2693-9333-38 Fax: 0-2693-9352
Foreigners may not work in a number of occupations, including E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
the following, which are related to the biotechnology industry:
Agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, fisheries, except The following sections have been extracted from the
for work requiring special expertise, farm supervision website of the Board of Investment
or labour in fisheries especially marine fisheries
Engineering in civil engineering concerning design and http://www.boi.go.th./english/how/labor_issues_and_
calculation systemization analysis, planning, testing, important_addresses.asp
construction supervision or consulting services,
excluding work requiring specialized techniques Legal Implications of Labour
Thai labour laws provide for considerable freedom in
A foreigner who intends to work in Thailand will need to first managing labour. As in many countries, it is not legal to
obtain a non-immigrant visa (usually business - category B) discriminate on the basis of age or sex. However, personnel
to enter the country. Such a visa will entitle the holder to stay ads in Thai newspapers show employers narrowly defining
in Thailand for a maximum period of 90 days. Non-immigrant their needs: "The successful candidate will be male, under
visas may be obtained from a Royal Thai embassy or 35 years of age, not a member of a labour union, and at
consulate by producing several documents, including an least 150 cm in height, etc."
34 THAILAND BIOTECH GUIDE 2006/2007
Furthermore, the government does not interfere with a Both the Bangkok Post and The Nation boast circulation
company's retrenchment policies when economic condi- figures of close to 60,000 copies per day, and their
tions necessitate cutbacks. There is no "first in, last out" advertising rates are similar. In addition to these
requirement in Thailand. mass-market dailies, there is an English-language daily, the
Business Day, which claims a daily circulation of
Similarly, Thai employers have the right to transfer approximately 10,000. Prospective employees can be reached
employees to other work locations, provided the transfer is through the print editions of these newspapers as well as
not ordered with the exclusive intent to create hardship for online classified advertisements on their websites.
them. Refusal to transfer is legal cause for dismissal.
The Department of Employment, Ministry of Labor and
Employee records Social Welfare also has a website which list job fairs and
employment opportunities. It is found at http://www.doe.go.th/
An employer with 10 or more regular employees is eng/index/html.
required to establish written rules and regulations in Thai
governing work performance. The regulations must be Several domestic and international personnel recruitment
displayed at the work premises within 15 days of the date firms operate in Bangkok. These companies also offer
from which the number of employees reached 10 or more. services such as advice on issues of organizational
structure, labour relations, and the cultural implications of
An employer with 10 or more regular employees is also managing labour in Thailand.
required to maintain an employee register in Thai with
documents pertaining to the payment of wages, overtime, It is also recommended that companies develop contacts
holiday work etc. with educational institutes to identify and court potential
candidates as early as possible. For companies with
Tips on Recruiting and Developing Staff ongoing manpower needs, establishing a network of
contacts can be especially valuable.
The ability of a company to attract and retain staff is
enhanced by tailoring compensation packages to meet the Besides tailoring compensation packages to individual needs
needs of individual employees. Increasingly, factors such as and emphasizing long-term and organizational benefits,
work environment, organizational policies, relationships with companies need to give high-end technical employees, such
superiors, and defined career path influence decisions whether scientists and engineers, work that are commensurate with
to join or remain with a company. In a challenging living their skills. Given greater challenges and expanded roles in
environment such as Bangkok, these "quality of life" areas like systems design and management, technical
factors are important. personnel can become more productive and are more likely
to view themselves as an integral part of the company.
Organizing training programs to upgrade skills helps to
motivate staff and demonstrates a company's commitment Concrete, long-term benefits are an effective retention tool.
to its employees. Admission to such programs can be seen Long-term benefits motivate personnel to work through
both as a reward for good performance and as part of the problems and to identify self-interest with company
total compensation package. interest. Committing resources to long-term benefits also
ensures that companies are able to realize increased
Recruiting Technically-skilled Manpower production levels from staff as they gain experience.
There are two main English language daily newspapers
which support advertisements, both in English and in Thai.