Compensation scheme kicks in for 100,000+ cast out of jobs

Compensation scheme kicks in for 100,000+ cast out of jobs

More than 100,000 employees have lost their jobs or been suspended from work as a result of the closure of more than 6,000 businesses in 28 red-zone provinces in the wake of the new outbreak of Covid-19.

Insured workers left unemployed due to the pandemic could begin applying for compensation payments from yesterday, according to Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin.

Mr Suchart said provincial communicable disease committees in the 28 red-zone provinces have ordered the closure of businesses to curb the spread of the new outbreak, putting more than 100,000 workers out of work.

Jobless workers who are insured under the Social Security Act are entitled to compensation under a ministerial regulation on unemployment benefits in the event of force majeure arising from the outbreak of dangerous diseases under the Communicable Disease Act.

Under the regulation, which took effect on Dec 19, insured employees must have contributed to the Social Security Fund for at least six months before they became unemployed to qualify.

They are entitled to receive the benefit at a rate of 50% of their daily wage for the whole period of quarantine, lockdown or closure, but for no more than 90 days at a time.

The maximum ceiling of the daily wage -- 500 baht a day or 15,000 baht a month -- is used to calculate the compensation, Mr Suchart said.

Mr Suchart said the payment system has been improved to ensure employees receive compensation more quickly than the first outbreak early last year.

Compensation payments will be paid into workers' bank accounts within five days, Mr Suchart said.

During the first outbreak, the Labour Ministry decided to raise the compensation payment from 50% to 62% so that compensation for members of the Social Security Fund would at least equal to the 5,000 baht compensation offered to those affected by the pandemic but not covered by the Social Security Act's Section 33.

At that time, about 15 billion baht worth of compensation was paid to more than 950,000 subscribers of the fund, Mr Suchart said.

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