Furlough benefits may be increased

Furlough benefits may be increased

Extension of contribution cuts also proposed

Former employees of a security company contracted to provide the service at the Government Complex gather to seek explanations from the company after the contract ended and they were laid off. They claimed the company still owed them 20,000 baht each in salaries and compensation. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Former employees of a security company contracted to provide the service at the Government Complex gather to seek explanations from the company after the contract ended and they were laid off. They claimed the company still owed them 20,000 baht each in salaries and compensation. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Members of the Social Security Fund furloughed because of Covid-19 measures may get slightly more unemployment benefits if the Labour Ministry has its way.

Minister M.R. Chatu Mongol Sonakul said on Thursday he would next week propose to the cabinet the increase of the benefits for unemployment caused by unforeseen circumstances, under which the Covid-19 outbreak is categorised.

The new rate is 75% of salaries from 62% for not more than 90 days. Since the base salary used in the calculation is capped at 15,000 baht a month, the benefits are limited to 11,250 baht from 9,300 baht a month.

The 75% rate will bring the compensation on par with the benefits for employment termination under the Labour Law.

In addition, M.R. Chatu Mongol said he would propose an extension of the discounted monthly contribution rates for both employers and employees to the end of this year.

Due to the virus outbreak, the Labour Ministry in mid-April cut the contribution rates to 4% of salaries for employers (up to 600 baht a month from 750 baht) and 1% for employees (up to 150 baht from 750 baht) for March, April and May this year to help relieve the burden. The old rates are 5% for both.

M.R. Chatu Mongol added if the cabinet approved the proposal, the Social Security Office is ready to put it into effect since it already had records of affected workers and their employers.

According to the SSF, 990,000 people applied for the benefits as of Tuesday. Of them, 492,000 applicants were approved, totalling 2.6 billion baht, to be paid by May 15.

Affected people whose applications have been rejected should not lose hope, the minister said.

“Those who have registered for the benefits but have not been approved can appeal from May 18 at all SSF offices nationwide,” he said.

The SSF has recently been under fire for slow payments of the benefits, leading to questions about the stability of the 2-trillion-baht fund. It claimed the delays were due to failure of employers to endorse the benefits for their workers and the stability of the fund was intact.

However, SSF deputy spokesperson Nantachai Panyasurarit admitted the delays were also caused by an outdated IT system called Sapiens the SSF has been using for more than 20 years. This has forced SSF staff to work almost around the clock to process the applications.  


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (5)

43 more arrested for illegal entry on western border

KANCHANABURI: Forty-three Myanmar job seekers were arrested late on Saturday night for illegal entry in Muang district, police said.

11:58

Majority agree with bill to regulate NGOs: poll

A majority of people agree with a draft bill aimed at regulating the operations of non-governmental organisations, requiring NGOs to reveal sources of funding, the amounts of foreign funds and their purposes, according to the result of an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

10:57

Huge Tonga volcanic eruption caused 'significant damage'

WELLINGTON: A massive volcanic eruption in Tonga that triggered tsunami waves around the Pacific caused "significant damage" to the island nation's capital and smothered it in dust, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Sunday.

10:45