Furlough benefits may be increased
Extension of contribution cuts also proposed
published : 7 May 2020 at 18:29
writer: Online Reporters
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However, SSF deputy spokesperson Nantachai Panyasurarit admitted the delays were also caused by an outdated IT system called Sapiens the SSF has been using for more than 20 years.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.