Thailand’s Labor Ministry to propose COVID-19 employees aid


BANGKOK (NNT) – The measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 have unfortunately affected many businesses, leading to pay cuts and layoffs. The Ministry of Labor will be proposing urgent measures to help employers and employees, in the Cabinet’s meeting on Tuesday, including social security payments for the unemployed at half their salary.

The Ministry of Labor this morning called a meeting with related agencies to discuss aid measures for employees and employers affected by COVID-19. The measures will include a job center offering 28,363 part-time employment positions, as well as special measures allowing employers to temporarily pay their full-time employees hourly rates for 6 months.

Employees enrolled in the Social Security system who have been laid off or asked to take leave without pay will receive compensation from Social Security at half their salary for up to 180 days. Employees affected by official orders to shut down certain businesses will receive Social Security compensation at half their salary for up to 60 days.

The Vice Minister of Labor Duangrit Benjathikul Chairungruang, said today the Ministry of Labor is considering an increase in this compensation rate beyond 50 percent of their monthly salary, which will be proposed at the Cabinet’s meeting tomorrow.

The Department of Skill Development’s Director General Suchat Pornchaiwiseskul, said today the department will provide skill workshops for informal workers free of charge, and offer a 150 baht daily allowance for meals and transportation for participants. The department has set up a loan account from which informal workers can request up to 50,000 baht individually, or up to 200,000 baht as a group with 3 percent annual interest rate to improve the liquidity of their informal businesses.

The Ministry of Labor will be asking the Cabinet to offer special residence permit extensions for migrant workers and their followers in Thailand, up to 30th June 2020. They must be properly registered by 31st March to be eligible. Migrant workers returning home during this period and wishing to return once the situation resolves will be allowed to return, provided that they have properly registered.