Labour Minister Extends Informal Worker Protection under Section 40

Labour Minister General Sirichai Distakul has emphasized the importance of care for over 21.4 million informal workers, a majority of Thailand’s workforce and an important component of the economy. A total of 56 percent of these workers are in the agricultural sector, with 32.9 in the services industry and 11.1 percent in the manufacturing industry. The Labour Minister has thus launched a policy for the Ministry of Labour to follow up progress on past operations and prepare action plans for 2017, as well as directions on protection for informal workers in alignment with the informal worker management strategy for 2017 � 2021.

Last year, the Ministry of Labour provided social protection under Section 40 to 2.4 informal workers. This was done by promoting informal workers to become members of the national savings fund and promoting employment under emergency employment and skills development programs to 91,199 people using a budget of 95 million Baht. Efforts were also made to support informal worker networks to participate in various activities, new legislation was drafted and the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare had announced directions on occupational safety, hygiene and environment for informal workers.

This year’s action plan will focus on employment creation in the 12 provinces which were heavily affected by the flooding. The target is aimed at 8,093 workers using a 17 million Baht budget, and another 20,000 people in other provinces; this will add 3,000 Baht to the workers’ income. The Ministry of Labour also plans to create an informal worker database and extend social protection under Section 40, in correspondence to the informal worker management strategy 2017 � 2021. This aims to create social stability and knowledge to promote employment and efficiency in informal worker management for the next 5 years.

The Ministry of Labour’s Inspector-General and spokesperson Mr. Ananchai Uthaipatanacheep said, The Labour Minister has emphasized the importance of informal worker protection, and has thus urged relevant units to excel efforts on promoting life quality, safety, social protection under Section 40 and employment. This will be done through various means including the homeworkers’ fund, emergency employment programs, SME business support and promotion for the new generation of generation Y to take up more vocational courses for better chances of employment. The Ministry of Labour also has its Smart Job Center to support these efforts.

For more information, contact the Informal Worker Coordination and Network Support Center, all provincial labour offices of the Ministry of Labour’s 1506 hotline.

Source: Ministry of Labour

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