B47bn on offer to save SME jobs

B47bn on offer to save SME jobs

Worker handouts of 3,000 baht a month

Office workers walk in the rain during lunch hour on Bangkok's Silom Road. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Office workers walk in the rain during lunch hour on Bangkok's Silom Road. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

The government plans to introduce more measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) retain workers and create new jobs, with 46.9 billion baht to be allocated.

According to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) on Thursday agreed with the job support measures in principle.

The measures aim to help SMEs that have 200 or less employees retain 95% of their workers, and encourage entrepreneurs to increase new hires.

Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said the new support measures will see the government hand out 3,000 baht a month to each worker from November 2021 to January 2022.

The measure will cover 480,122 SMEs, which are expected to help retain employees and create new jobs for a total of 5.04 million workers, he said.

If an employer agrees to create jobs, the government will also pay 3,000 baht a month to each new worker they hire during this period.

This scheme is expected to create 252,009 new jobs between December 2021 and January 2022.

Employers and employees are required to register for the Social Security Fund and make contributions under Section 33 from October this year.

Employers are also required to retain 95% of their employees while participating in the support scheme.

"If employers fail to maintain their employment at the required level in any month, the government will not contribute to the budget for those months," said Mr Danucha.

Employers must register for the scheme from Oct 20 to Nov 20, while the government intends to make the first payments in November after the NESDC approved its budget, which will be funded by the second 500-billion-baht emergency loan decree, he said.

In a related development, the Labour Ministry reported to CESA as of Sept 28, the government has allocated a total of 91.7 billion baht to assist 11.8 million workers in 29 maximum-risk provinces.

The Bank of Thailand reported as of Sept 20 106 billion baht worth of loans had been allocated to 34,538 entrepreneurs under the central bank's debt relief programme, with assets worth a combined 15.2 billion baht from 106 entrepreneurs transferred under the asset warehousing scheme.

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