Comments Off on Update on Thai Labor Law Protection Act
A new amendment for the Labor Law Protection Act has been announced in the Government Gazette on 5April 2562 and the Act will come into force 30 days after its publication in the Gazette.
The amendments introduce additional rights for employees, such as:
Increase of statutory severance pay for an employee who has worked for at least 20 years;
Employees are now entitled to personal leave of at least 3 days/year and will be paid during the leaving date;
Maternity leave increase from 90 days to 98 days and split the leave period to 2 periods:
Prenatal period before the delivery date and;
Maternity leave period.
Employers must pay up to 45 days during maternity leave;
Employers must pay wages, overtime payments, payments for working on holidays, and payments for working overtime on holidays, at the same rate for both male and female employees;
If it’s necessary for the employer to suspend the business, partially or as a whole, for any reason, the employer must pay the employee at least 75 percent of his or her usual daily wages throughout the suspension period.
The above changes will certainly be welcomed by Thai employees.
The Thai Government has taken a series of efforts in driving the economy through innovation and attracting highly skilled talents (Smart T), investors (Smart I), executives (Smart E) and startup entrepreneurs (Smart S) in its targeted industries – the so-called S-Curve industries – to Thailand. Therefore, the Smart Visa program was launched, which offers some significant benefits for the applicant, like no necessity for a work permit (even for spouse and children), no 90 days report and no requirement for a re-entry permit. While it went viral quickly, the number of applicants was low, as its conditions were hard to reach. To raise attractiveness and practical relevance of the program, the BOI has now updated the criteria for the Smart Visa program on December 24th, 2018, just 9 months after the program was launched. The main changes are shown as follows:
Three more targeted industries were added to the S-Curve industries, “Alternative Dispute Resolution”, “Human Resource Development in Science and Technology” and “Environmental Management and Renewable Energy”.
The applicant’s minimum income was reduced to 100.000 THB in general, for employees at a Startup, or retired Experts to 50.000 THB, while it was 200.000 THB before the Update. For experts working in a government agency, higher education institution, specialized training institution, or at an Alternative Dispute Resolution service, the minimum income was abolished.
If investing in a startup or an incubation or accelerator program – which is endorsed by a relevant agency – the required amount of investment is reduced from 20 Million THB to 5 Million THB. This amount can be invested in different companies. The business to be set up or invested in must be certified as technology-based in manufacturing or delivering services in the targeted industries.
No changes in the Smart E visa. It still requires a minimum salary of 200.000 THB / Month, 10 Years of work experience and a senior management position.
The Smart S Visa is now subdivided into 3 different types:
Smart S for 2 Years: It is not required to attend in an incubation or accelerator program which is certified by relevant government agencies like DEPA anymore. Having established a Startup which is approved to be in the targeted industries and holding at least 25 % of the shares or being the managing director of such a company is sufficient for the 2-Years visa. All other requirements (deposit, health insurance) stay the same.
Smart S for 1 Year: This type is new to the Smart Visa program. The applicant has to attend to an incubation or accelerator program in the targeted industries certified by the government, or receive joint venture funding with the public sector, or endorsed by relevant government agencies. All other requirements of the old Smart S visa need to be fulfilled (600.000 THB deposit, health insurance).
Smart S for 6 Month: This new type of visa might be the most attractive, as it is way easier to obtain. The applicant just needs to have the plan to set up a tech startup which is endorsed by the relevant agencies or engage in an activity aimed to promote startups. A deposit is not required; only the health insurance for the whole stay is needed.
The update from December 24th, 2018 is a significant relaxation of the application requirements of the Smart Visa program. While it had almost no practical use in the past, it seems that the new regulations may increase its relevance in the future. It should be mentioned that the Thai Government has a keen interest in attracting foreign experts, investors and startups. Further, Thailand invested a lot in the marketing of the Smart Visa program. By saying that, further changes and reliefs of the program are not improbable, as the Government is keen to make the program a success.
If there are any questions regarding the Smart Visa or need assistance in the application process, feel free to contact us at [email protected].
According to media reports, the Finance Minister Mr. Sommai Phasee stated that the new inheritance and gift tax is expected to be submitted for the cabinet’s approval on this November 2014 and should be enforced in the year 2015. Please see his following information below:
The draft will stipulate a minimum rate of 10% to enable future rises without amendment of the law.
The ministry will start imposing the tax a 10% when at least 50 million baht in assets is passed down.
He also released the information that the Council of State will deliver the draft to him in this October 2014, and this draft will allow bequest beneficiaries to pay tax installments to ease their burden. However, he may ask the Council to review some issues such as loopholes likely to be used to avoid tax payments, such as preventing the use of nominees to receive inheritance.
He said that the new land and buildings tax would be the next change after the inheritance and gift tax. The new land and buildings tax will take effect a year and a half after publication in the Royal Gazette. Because the Government would like to give the Treasury Department time to assess the value of 23 million land plots to serve as the tax base.
The Treasury Department so far has appraised 7 million land plots on an individual basis. The Fiscal Policy Officer earlier proposed a ceiling rate of 4% for unused land and land for commercial use. For unused land, the rate will double every three years but not exceed a maximum level of 4% of appraised value according to a Finance Ministry source said earlier. Maximum rates will be set at 0.5% for agricultural use and 1% for residential use.
When the new land and buildings tax is enforced, it will replace the existing house and land tax and local development tax. Low-priced residences and land will likely be exempt from the new tax.