The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labour, Police General Adul Saengsingkeaw, showed concern about the workforce amid the second wave of Covid-19 outbreaks. He invited representatives of the Ministry of Labour and related units to meet to clarify operational guidelines and listen to recommendations, including measures to aid and remedy Thai and foreign workers affected by the Covid-19 situation, to pass through the crisis together.
On February 2, 2021, at the Committee Meeting Room, 4th floor, Parliament Building (Kiakkai), the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labour, Police General Adul Saengsingkeaw, reported that with the new wave of Covid-19 outbreaks, the Senate’s Labour Committee is concerned for the workforce affected by the situation. Today, representatives from the Ministry of Labour and relevant agencies were invited to attend a meeting to clarify operational guidelines and discuss and listen to recommendations on monitoring the Covid-19 situation, especially among migrant workers fleeing into the country and how the Ministry of Labour has taken measures to control further spread. In addition, the meeting covered issues to resolve labour shortages in the EEC area and what measures the Ministry of Labour has, including measures to treat people with Covid-19. The Ministry of Labour’s representatives clarified all three issues mentioned above. In the case of migrants fleeing into the nation, the Ministry of Labour has already established guidelines for managing foreign workers to manage migrant workers amid this new wave of Covid-19 outbreaks to effectively control and prevent the spread of Covid-19 among migrant workers. The measures also ensure migrant workers who have fled into or illegally entered the country to enter the system correctly. The Ministry of Labour has also solved labour shortages in various industrial sectors and ensured the foreign workers’ database system’s stability in Thailand (Big Data). There are proactive Covid-19 screening measures in the workplace or the ‘Samut Sakhon Model,’ which will help detect infected people quickly. If an infection is detected, the person will undergo treatment according to the Department of Disease Control guidelines. From January 9 to 25, 2021, a total of 25,162 insured persons have been proactively screened in the workplace in Samut Sakhon.
As for labour shortages in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), the Ministry of Labour has prepared the workforce by focusing on career guidance for students in the ten target industries’ careers. From the Job Expo Thailand 2020, over 850,000 jobs have been placed (data as of January 18, 2021). There is also skill development for the workforce in terms of Up Skill / Re Skill / and New Skill for the public and the EEC area. On remedial measures to help people affected by Covid-19, the Ministry of Labour has issued a Ministerial Regulation on benefits in the case of unemployment due to force majeure from Covid-19. The measure provides unemployment benefits to insured persons who are not working or cannot work due to quarantine or surveillance of disease or cannot work because the employer had to stop operating business either in whole or in part because the government ordered to temporarily close the premises to prevent the spread of Covid-19. In such cases where government orders cause businesses the inability to operate normally and the employee is not paid during that time, the employee is entitled to receive unemployment benefits at the rate of 50 percent of the daily wages for not more than 90 days. The measure has been in effect since December 19, 2020. The Social Security Office has opened for affected employers and insurers to apply for compensation benefits. The forms can be downloaded at www.sso.go.th. In addition, the Cabinet on January 26, 2021, approved the Ministry of Labour’s proposal to amend the Ministerial Regulations prescribing the rate of contributions to the Social Security Fund 2020, collective employer contributions at the rate of 3% of wages. Insured persons under Section 33 will contribute at the rate of 0.5% of wages for two months (February – March 2021). Insured persons under Section 39 will contribute at the rate of 38 Baht per month. The government remits the same rate of 2.75 percent of the insured person’s wages to alleviate the suffering of insured persons who have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Source: Ministry of Labour