Thailand: Relief Measures for Member of the Public Affected by the Thai Government’s COVID-19 Lockdown Measures
by Segolene Leffy
On 20 July and 10 August 2021, the Thai cabinet passed new resolutions granting relief measures to members of the public living in red zones in 29 provinces (including Bangkok) who have been particularly affected by government lockdown measures aimed at containing and reducing cases of COVID-19 infection. These measures notably include providing financial support to employers and employees registered with the Social Security Office (“SSO”). The relevant measures include:
Financial support in the case of business closures due to government ordered lockdown measures
The SSO will provide financial support to employees unable to work due entirely or partially to government mandated orders affecting certain types of businesses resulting in the closure of their employer/place of work.
The Financial assistance being offered is as follows: 50% of daily wages for a period of up to 90 days (with a maximum salary cap of THB 15,000 meaning a maximum applicable benefit of THB 7,500 per month).
Employees who are insured will be entitled to unemployment benefits provided that they have paid contributions for at least six months within the past 15 months before becoming unemployed. Benefits will be payable under the following conditions:
- The employees have been unable to work and have not received wages due to a force majeure event (defined to mean any threat or danger arising from the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the public to the degree that the insured persons (employees) are unable to work or employers unable to operate their businesses);
- The employer orders employees not to work for quarantine or infection monitoring purposes; and
- The employees have been unable to work and have not received wages due to the employer being ordered to close its business, either in whole or in part due to government mandated lockdown measures.
To receive these benefits, employers and employees must file their requests to the SSO separately.
This financial support scheme has been in operation since the first wave of the pandemic struck in the second quarter of 2020.
Additional financial support based on the 20 July and 10 August Cabinet resolutions
The SSO will provide financial support of THB 2,500 per employee for a period of one month (this may be extended by future government resolutions and/or announcements) for employees, (a) that are Thai nationals, and (b) working in any of the following types of businesses:
- Hotel and food services;
- Transportation activities and warehousing;
- Wholesale or retail activities, vehicle repair shops;
- Management and technical support services;
- Professional, science, and academic disciplines;
- Information and communications;
- Other service-based activities; and
- Art, entertainment, and outdoor activities.
Employees will be eligible for such payments without any requirement by themselves or their employers to make any filings. Employees are required only to apply for PromptPay by registering their national identification number. Most employees are already subscribers to this service since as is an official channel to receive tax rebates from the Thai Revenue Department (“TRD”) and other government related payments.
Furthermore, employers in the types of businesses mentioned above with up to 200 personnel will also be entitled to financial aid of THB 3,000 per employee (up to a maximum amount of THB 600,000). Eligible employers must file a request via the SSO website to apply for this assistance.
The information provided here is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from qualified legal counsel for all specific situations.
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