Ministry wants to help SMEs retain employees

Ministry wants to help SMEs retain employees

The Labour Ministry is expecting to launch a project to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) retain their employees through subsidies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said the project was approved in principle by the Centre for Economic Situation Administration, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The project will be presented for cabinet approval shortly.

"The project is amid at promoting and maintaining employment at SMEs and strengthening their businesses, reducing financial burdens and boosting liquidity," Mr Suchart said. "[The move] is in line with the government's relief measures for SMEs affected by Covid-19."

The project is expected to help maintain employment at about 400,000 SMEs and subsidise the income of more than 4 million Thai nationals under the Social Security Fund, he said, adding it will also help generate new jobs.

If approved by the cabinet, each employee would receive 3,000 baht per month from November to January, Mr Suchart said, noting payments would be made on the last operating day of each month.

Employers should maintain an employment rate of 95% during the duration of the project, the minister said. Failing to do so would result in them no longer receiving subsidies for the month, he said.

Employment Department director-general Pairoj Chotikasathien said that if the project is approved by the cabinet, employers who want to join would have to register online, without the need to travel to the department's office in person.

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