Thai Employers’ Guidelines if Employees do not Use the Right to Apply for Annual Leave in Thailand
Thai employees’ annual vacation is stipulated by law that if an employee has worked continuously for one year, the employee is entitled to receive annual vacation for not less than 6 working days per year. Therefore, it can be considered that annual vacation is a right Thai employee should be entitled to, and the employer is obliged to arrange the vacation as follows:
Ø Employers can set annual leave days for employees.
In principle, annual leave is considered an entitlement that an employee must receive. Based on the law, it is deemed that an employer can assign annual leaves to each employee because the employer has the power to manage work of the company, and the allocation of leave days to the employees is considered management of business too. If an employee undertakes leaves allocated by an employer, the employer does not need to accumulate leaves for the following year, or the employer is not obliged to pay in lieu of providing the employee with annual vacation.
However, in practice, most employers do not prefer to do this because employees may not want to take leave on the day that the employer has allocated. Therefore, most employers often allow employees to apply for their annual leaves instead.
Ø Employers can arrange for employees to apply annual leave by lodging the leave application to employers.
Thai employer's arrangement for an employee to apply for annual leave is an agreement between employer and employee for the employee to take leave on such date. In practice, an employee must submit annual leave request and clearly state that the employee wishes to take annual leave on which date, and the employer has the right to consider and approve the employee's leave. This is legally referred to as a request for leave and when the employer approves the leave, it is a response to the employee's offer, thus arranging an agreed holiday.
This method is preferred by most Thai employers. If an employer approves an employee's annual leave or agrees to take the leave according to the days of annual leave the employee is entitled to receive each year, then the employer does not need to accumulate its annual leaves for the following year for employees.
Ø What should an employer do if an employee does not use the annual leave for the day of vacation that the employee is entitled to take?
If an employee does not exercise the right to apply for annual leave according to the number of days the employee receives each year, the employer can accumulate vacation that the employee does not use for the following year, or the employer will pay the wages according to the number of vacation days that the employee does not take.
According to Judgment of Supreme Court, laid down the norm that the determination of annual leave is the duty of an employer to take. Regardless of whether the employee expresses his/her intention to apply for vacation according to their right or not, the employer shall have the duty to allocate annual leave to employees. If the employer does not allocate holidays to the employees, employer must pay wages based on the annual leaves they have to their employees.
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