This is the ultimate guide to hiring local and foreign employees in Thailand.
Recruiting employees is an important step for running a business, and there are certain conditions and requirements employers must know when hiring both local and foreign employees.
Let’s find out more.
Minimum wage for locals in Thailand
The minimum wage in Thailand for locals differs according to each province.
The current minimum wage for Bangkok is THB 331 per day. The minimum wage for other provinces around Thailand are as follows:
|Province||Daily minimum wage (THB)|
|Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala||313|
|Amnat Charoen, Chaiyaphum, Chiang Rai, Chumpon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Maha Sarakham, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun, Lampang, Kampaeng Phet, Uthathani, Trang, Tak, Sukhothai, Si Sa Ket, Singburi, Ranong, Satun, Ratchaburi, Phichit, Phrae, Nong Bua Lam Phu||315|
|Ang Thong, Bung Kan, Buriram, Chainat, Kanchanaburi, Loei, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Sawan, Nan, Phattalung, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phetchaburi, Phitsanulok, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Roi Et, Sa Kaeo, Surin, Udon Thani, Uttaradit, Yasothon||320|
|Chantaburi, Samut Songkhram, Sakhon Nakhon, Mukdahan, Nakhon Nayok, Kalasin||323|
|Ayutthaya, Khonkaen, Chiang Mai, Nong Khai, Phangnga, Trat, Surat Thani, Suphanburi, Songkla, Saraburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani||325|
|Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan||331|
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Hiring employees with disabilities
According to the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Act B.E. 2550 (2007), employers who hire disabled employees are eligible for a tax exemption at a certain percentage of the amount of wage the employee receives from the employer.
Social security contribution
Employers must register their employees with the Social Security Fund and must contribute to the fund every month.
The current rate for the social security contribution is 5% of the employee’s salary, however, as a Covid-19 relief measure, the Thai Cabinet has approved a reduction from 5% to 2.5% from June to August 2021.
The minimum salary to calculate the social security contribution is THB 1,650 (THB 83), and the maximum salary is THB 15,000 (THB 750).
Conditions for hiring foreign employees
There are certain conditions that companies must fulfil before being able to hire foreign employees.
These conditions are:
- Officially registered in Thailand
- Must have a ratio of four employees to one foreign employee
- Have applied for a tax ID and VAT registration
- A company with Thai majority ownership must have a minimum paid-up capital of THB 2 million per foreign employee
- A company with foreign majority ownership must have a minimum paid-up capital of THB 3 million per foreign employee
- Foreign employees will receive at least the minimum salary according to the Order of Royal Thai Police No.327/2557
How can foreigners legally work in Thailand?
Foreigners must have a valid visa and work permit to be able to legally work in Thailand.
The following steps explain how to apply for a work permit:
Secure a non-immigrant B visa
You must obtain a non-immigrant B visa from the Thai Embassy or consulate in your home country.
The required documents include:
- An invitation letter from the employing company in Thailand signed by the company directors
- A request from the company that the applicant shall be given a non-immigrant B visa so that the company can apply for a work permit for the applicant
- Company attestation stating that the applicant is upstanding, law-abiding and guarantees that the employee will respect Thai culture and laws
The non-immigrant B visa should be applied at least 30 days before travelling to Thailand. Upon issuance of the non-immigrant B visa, you will be given a temporary stay in Thailand for 90 days.
Obtaining the work permit
The following documents need to be provided to apply for a work permit:
- Work permit application form
- Six photographs
- Signed copies of every page of the passport and:
- Non-permanent residents – non-immigrant visa
- Permanent residents – a certificate of permanent residence and certificate of alien
- Copy of education certificate and CV
- Recent medical certificate from a recognised hospital in Thailand showing that the applicant does not suffer from:
- Mental illnesses
- Drug addiction
The employer must provide the following documents:
- Commercial Registration Department certificate stating the name of the managing director and/or director, its objectives and registered capital
- Shareholder’s list certified by the Commercial Registration Department
- Factory license issued by the Factory Department (if required)
- VAT certificate
- Social security payment filing
After submitting the documents, the work permit will be issued in approximately seven working days.
Restricted occupations for foreigners
There are specific jobs that are prohibited to foreigners and are reserved for Thai nationals. However, for some jobs, there are certain requirements that foreigners must meet.
Restricted jobs under the Prescription of the Prohibited Occupations for Foreigners consists of four lists of restricted jobs, these are:
- Occupations that are strictly prohibited to foreigners
- Prohibited occupations for foreigners with the condition that foreigners are allowed to work under international agreements or obligations to which Thailand is bound under the provisions of law
- Prohibited occupations for foreigners with the condition that foreign workers are allowed to do skilled or semi-skilled work when working for an employer
- Prohibited occupations which foreign workers are permitted to perform under the condition of having employers and permitted to enter Thailand by Immigration Law under MoUs or agreements between the Thai government and foreign government
Find out more in our Restricted Jobs for Foreigners guide.
Are foreign employees entitled to social security?
For foreigners who are legally employed in Thailand, employers must register them with the social security office.
Foreign employees are entitled to the same benefits as local employees.
Minimum salary for foreign employees
The prescribed minimum income for foreign employees varies based on the employee’s nationality.
|Minimum wage/month (THB)||Nationality|
|60,000||Canada, Japan and the United States of America|
|50,000||Europe (including the United Kingdom) and Australia|
|45,000||Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan|
|35,000||China, India, Indonesia, the Middle East and the Philippines|
|25,000||Africa, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam|
The process of hiring local employees is more straightforward than hiring foreigners, as foreigners will need to obtain a visa and work permit to be able to legally work in Thailand. For more information on hiring employees, schedule a consultation with Acclime.