Plans To Cut Social Security Fund Contributions For Those Affected By COVID-19

Office Workers

The Social Security Office (SSO) is to seek the cabinet’s approval to cut social security fund (SSF) contributions to support those affected by COVID-19 for three months.

Surachai Chaitrakulthong, the assistant to the labour minister, said on Thursday the Federation of Thai Industry had asked the ministry to launch additional measures to help employers and employees affected by Covid-19’s economic impact.

One of the measures requested was the reduction of SSF contributions from 5% to 2.5% for three months, Mr Chaitrakulthong said. The request will be submitted to the cabinet for approval next week, he said. It is expected to come into force from next month until August.

The fund earlier cut contributions from February to March from 5% to 3% for employers and employees. The contribution rate has currently returned to 5%.

The temporary measure is intended to reduce people’s financial hardship amid the COVID-19 pandemic when many people have been thrown out of work or have reduced income.

In other news, the Department of Skill Development has cut contributions paid by employers to the Skill Development Fund from 1% to 0.1% for this year to help them during the COVID-19 crisis.

Under the Skill Development Promotion Act, businesses hiring 100 employees and over are required to send contributions to the fund at a rate of 1% of the employee’s salary.

Businesses opting not to contribute to the fund must arrange skill development training or send their employees for training.

The department also extended the contribution filing deadline from last month to July. Employers now have 90 days, from the usual 60 days, to request the department’s certification of skill development courses their employees have attended.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said recently that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had ordered the SSO to review the law to help relieve employees who facing the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the new stimulus package endorsed by the cabinet on Tuesday, the government will introduce the new phase of the “Section 33 Rao Rak Kan” scheme.

Under the Rao Chana scheme, an additional 1,000 baht would be given to about 9.27 million SSO members each week for two weeks.

Holders of state welfare cards will receive their handouts on Thursday and 27th May while those spending through the government’s e-wallet app “Pao Tang” will get their money on Friday and 28th May.

Those insured under Section 33 of the Social Security Act will get an extra 1,000 baht each week for two weeks under the Rao Rak Kan scheme and they will receive their money on 24th May and 31st May.