Thailand amends law for longer paid maternity leave

The Social Security Office has been asked to propose a legal amendment that ensures women entitled to 98 days maternity leave are paid in full.
By: | March 14, 2022

This comes after women rights groups called on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to amend the labour law on International Women’s Day, March 8.

Providing an update on proposals made to the prime minister by the rights groups, deputy government spokesperson Ratchada Thanadire said Gen Prayut had closely followed up on legal amendments to ensure employees entitled to 98 days maternity leave are fully paid by employers and the Social Security Office (SSO).

Currently, wage payments cover just 90 days. Under the existing law, employers are required to pay the first 45 days of wages to employees on maternity leave. The second 45 days of wages is paid by the SSO. The additional eight days of maternity leave are not covered by the existing law, Ratchada said.

READ: Thailand’s jobless rate falls as COVID-19 curbs ease

In Thailand, maternity benefits are covered under the 1998 Labour Protection Act. Another maternity benefit is that, with a doctor’s certificate, a temporary change in a worker’s duties is allowed shortly before and after the child’s birth. The Act also protects women from being fired while they are pregnant.

Currently, Thailand does not have mandatory paternity leave in the private sector. In the public sector, new fathers are allowed 15 days to care for their babies, according to Thaiger.