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Employment Complexities in Thailand: A Guide for Canadian Businesses


For Canadian companies eyeing expansion into the booming markets of Asia, Thailand presents an alluring destination due to its strategic location and growing economy. However, the process of employing local staff in Thailand introduces a range of legal, cultural, and administrative challenges that can pose significant hurdles. This guide aims to outline the general employment process, identify common pain points, and provide strategic guidance for HR professionals. Furthermore, it introduces Gonex, a proficient Employment of Record (EOR) provider, as a solution to streamline these complexities.


Understanding Local Employment Regulations

Local Labor Laws

Navigating Thai labor laws is the first critical step for Canadian businesses. These laws encompass strict regulations on work conditions, minimum wage (ranging from 300 to 330 THB daily, depending on the region), working hours, termination policies, and benefits. Non-compliance can lead to severe legal repercussions and fines.


Work Permits for Foreign Staff

Securing work permits for foreign nationals is a rigorous process that requires a non-immigrant visa followed by the work permit upon securing employment. This process demands detailed documentation of the potential employee’s qualifications and the company’s operational credentials in Thailand. Approximately 30% of work permit applications encounter setbacks due to documentation errors, leading to significant operational disruptions.


Recruitment and Employment Contracts

Canadian firms must ensure their recruitment practices are transparent and comply with Thai employment laws. This includes demonstrating that a job position cannot be filled by a local before offering it to a foreigner. Employment contracts must be meticulously drafted in Thai to outline all job specifics and avoid legal disputes.


Salary, Benefits Compliance, and Cultural Considerations

Compliance with Salary and Benefits

Employers must adhere to Thailand’s minimum wage laws and provide statutory benefits. Managing payroll amidst fluctuating exchange rates and a complex local tax system can be particularly challenging.


Cultural Integration

Understanding and integrating into Thai culture is crucial. Canadian management must adapt to the local emphasis on respect and harmony, which often diverges significantly from Western business practices. Language barriers further complicate the employment process, as all formal documentation must be in Thai, necessitating accurate translations to prevent misunderstandings.


Case Studies and Gonex’s Role

Work Permit Challenges

A Canadian technology company initially struggled to secure a work permit for a project manager because it could not adequately prove the specialized nature of the skills required. This issue was resolved only after providing detailed job descriptions and qualifications.


Cultural Adaptation

A Canadian manufacturing firm faced high turnover rates at its Thai plant due to cultural misunderstandings. Implementing cultural exchange programs and adjusting management styles significantly improved employee relations and productivity.


Gonex’s Comprehensive EOR Services

Gonex alleviates these employment challenges through its robust EOR services. By acting as the legal employer of staff on behalf of Canadian companies, Gonex handles all compliance, contract management, and payroll processes. This service is particularly cost-effective, typically costing 2-3 months of an employee’s salary, which significantly reduces the administrative burden and expedites market entry.

Gonex’s platform facilitates seamless HR management across time zones and languages, organizing HR-related updates and notifying HR departments to prepare for contract renewals, payroll changes, and more. This proactive management helps companies avoid compliance pitfalls and maintain a stable workforce.


Real Case

In 2023, the rapid growth of the frozen food industry in Thailand attracted many Canadian companies to expand their operations there. When hiring employees, most businesses opt to employ local blue-collar workers for basic positions. Due to the large number of employees needed, a considerable amount of manpower is required from contract signing to official onboarding. Choosing Gonex’s EOR services as the first step in overseas employment is a wise decision.

Gonex has stable partnerships in Thailand and has served many clients previously, accumulating significant experience in handling employment issues. Businesses simply need to articulate their needs, and Gonex takes care of the rest, providing comprehensive support, including legal assistance.



While the opportunity for Canadian businesses in Thailand is significant, the complexities of local employment laws and cultural differences present substantial challenges. Partnering with Gonex not only simplifies these processes but also ensures that companies can focus on their core business strategies without being bogged down by administrative complexities. By leveraging Gonex’s services, businesses can ensure legal compliance and foster a productive, harmonious workplace environment, setting the stage for successful operations in Thailand’s dynamic market.


Why Gonex?

Experienced Management Team: each member in the team has 10+ years experiences in Overseas Human Resources Management, composed of seasoned HR professionals. 

Powerful connection: Gonex has established over 10 entities worldwide, along with more than 30 stable partners, together offering the most comprehensive overseas human resource services to our clients.

Strict compliance with laws and regulations: At every step in our service process, Gonex strictly adheres to local laws and regulations, ensuring our clients completely avoid any legal disputes.

Competitive price: Gonex’s services are 20% more affordable compared to other companies in the industry, allowing our clients to allocate more resources to their core business.


What Gonex offer?

Employment of Record: This service helps clients legally hire employees in countries or regions where they do not have a legal entity established.

Payroll BPO service: This includes payroll project implementation plan development, project deployment, payroll calculation, payment of funds, administration of statutory and supplementary benefits, customized reporting, and other comprehensive payroll services.

Mobility: Based on the company’s internationalization strategy, the company assigns employees to overseas branches/subsidiaries and handles visa and tax matters in accordance with local policies, while assisting in the compliance management of employees throughout their international assignment life cycle.


GONEX One-Stop Solution: Your strategic partner

In navigating these challenges, GONEX offers comprehensive solutions tailored to the needs of American companies expanding into South Korea: 

Compliance and Legal Adherence: GONEX’s Employer of Record (EOR) service ensures legal compliance in employing local staff.

Cross-Border Payroll and Tax Management: Streamlined payroll services simplify cross-border management.

Flexible Employment Solutions: Adaptable employment services cater to changing business needs.

International Talent Dispatch: Support services facilitate the dispatch of key talent to Japan.

Digital HR Management Platform: Technology-driven solutions enhance management efficiency and cultural integration.


Who do we serve?

Gonex served 70+ clients to expand overseas. The incomes of our clients like Mengniu, Kuaishou and CHINT are up to 192.4 billion.


Let Gonex assist you and your company with handling such complex overseas hiring processes! To access more information on corporate international expansion cases, global employment guidelines, worldwide compensation management, regulations for various regional countries, and factory establishment manuals in different nations, you are welcome to visit the GONEX official website at www.letsgonex.com to download these resources or view our company’s business introduction in PDF format (https://letsgonex.com/in.pdf).

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