Employee help fund 'still healthy'
A senior labour official has dismissed concerns that the government's employee compensation fund is running out of money to provide financial aid following a spike in unemployment.
Department of Labour Protection and Welfare chief, Wiwat Tanhong, said the fund does not have any liquidity problem and money can easily be disbursed to provide financial assistance to laid-off workers who have not received their legally required pay off from their former employers.
He said the government has allocated a budget to support the fund since it was first set up in 2000, in compliance with the 1998 labour protection law. State subsidies have amounted to 400 million baht so far.
"I can confirm that the employee compensation fund's status is strong. In the event the fund does dry up, I believe the government will step in," he said.
However, the number of people seeking financial aid from the fund has increased significantly this year. Since January 845 people have applied for financial aid estimated at 14 million baht. Last year a total of 652 people sought financial assistance worth 12 million baht from the fund, he said.
According to Mr Wiwat, the employee compensation fund is designed to alleviate hardship for laid-off workers who have yet to receive compensation from their former employers.
Under the rules governing the disbursement of the fund, the compensation amount is calculated based on the workers' years of services and the fund committee later seeks to recover the money from the employers.
Those who are employed more than 120 days but less than three years will be paid 30 times their daily wage. Those who are employed over three years but less than 10 years are eligible to receive 50 times their daily wage.
Mr Wiwat noted that most employees subscribe to the Social Security Fund and are eligible to receive unemployment compensation if they become jobless.