Cabinet Approves Reduced Contributions Rates for 2 Months and Extends Foreign Workers’ Stay under MOUs for 6 Months

 Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin reported the Cabinet’s resolution to reduce the rate of contributions for insured persons under Sections 33 and 39 for two months (February and March 2021) to alleviate suffering Covid-19 impacts. He also reported extending the health checkup period for foreigners working under MOU arrangements. The term of employment is for two years, with permission to stay in the Kingdom under special circumstances.
On January 26, 2021, Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin reported that today, the Cabinet passed a resolution to consider and approve proposals by the Ministry of Labour regarding amendments to the Ministerial Regulation, setting the rate of contributions to the Social Security Fund, B.E. 2020. Amendments include for February and March 2021 contributions on the employer’s part to be set at a rate of 3 percent of the insured persons’ wages, whereas insured persons under Section 33 to pay at the rate of 0.5% of the insured person’s wages, and for insured persons under Section 39 to pay at a rate of 38 Baht per month. The government will contribute at the same rate of 2.75 percent of the insured person’s wages. This measure aims to alleviate the suffering of insured persons affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Mr. Suchart said that the reduction in insured persons’ contribution rate would result in insured persons under Section 33 to pay contributions to the Social Security Fund at 0.5 percent of wages, from 3 percent. Insured persons under Section 39 will pay contributions of 38 Baht, reduced from 278 Baht per month, effective in February and March 2021.

In addition, the Cabinet’s meeting agreed to the Ministry of Labour’s proposal to review the management of foreign workers amid the new wave of Covid-19 outbreaks and the management of people in quarantine. The target group to be managed totals 2,335,671 people, as follows:

1) 1,400,387 pink cardholders, consisting of 1.1) Foreign workers according to the Cabinet’s resolution on August 20, 2019, totaling 1,162,443 people. Currently, they are in the process of medical examinations and applying for a visa extension by March 31, 2021, whereby the period for health checks and visa extensions are extended another six months until September 30, 2021, 1.2) Foreign workers, according to the Cabinet’s resolution on August 4, 2020, totaling 237,944 people. They are currently in the process of medical examinations and applying for the first visa extension by March 31, 2021, whereby the period for medical examinations and visa extension applications is extended for another six months until July 31, 2021.

2) 434,784 foreign workers under the MOU, consisting of 2.1) Foreign workers according to the Cabinet’s resolution on November 10, 2020, totaling 119,094 people and 2.2) Foreign workers under the MOU, whose term of employment is over two years, totaling 315,690 people. Both groups are pending health examinations and visa extensions. Therefore, it was requested to extend the period for health examinations and visa extensions for another six months. This group is gradually going through the process, which will end on June 30, 2022.

3) Foreign workers, according to the Cabinet’s resolution on December 29, 2020, currently in the process of submitting their registration. It is estimated that this group is approximately 500,000 people. Therefore, the proposal suggested collecting biometrics to identify foreigners and the security of the country during the same period of Covid-19 screenings by April 16, 2021. The Immigration Office shall send the collected data and biometrics for the Department of Employment to issue work permits. For Covid-19 screening, accredited private healthcare facilities shall participate in the government’s urgent policy to control the Covid-19 outbreak. Public health facilities may not be sufficient in number to provide Covid-19 screenings by April 16, 2021. The Covid-19 test rate is according to the Department of Medical Sciences measures, whereby the price does not exceed 2,300 Baht.

4) Groups of foreign workers of three nationalities (Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar) in quarantine, totaling 500 people. Currently, they are pending deportation as the country of origin has limited the number of people returning. At present, there are measures to prohibit the movement of workers across provincial areas, causing the government to use budgets to care for the detainees waiting for deportation, at approximately 2 million Baht per month. Therefore, approval was requested for detainees to work and do domestic chores until February 13, 2023. Beyond this time, this group must return to the country.

5) For the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour to issue a notification prescribing rules, procedures, and conditions related to the operations.

 

Source: Ministry of Labour

 

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