On 19 October 2021, The Cabinet has approved in principle of the draft Notification of the Ministry of Interior regarding the Permission of Foreigners Granted Thailand Privilege Card to Stay in Thailand for Working as a Special Case (“Draft Notification”) and the draft Rules and Conditions for Allowing Foreigners Received Thailand Privilege Card to stay in Thailand for Working as a Special Case (“Draft Rules and Conditions”) as proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and considers this matter as an urgent matter.

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The main points of the 2 drafts are as follows:

  • Draft Notification
    1. The aliens who receive Thailand Privilege Card under the conditions as specified in  the Ministry of Interior’s Notification regarding permission of certain classes of aliens to stay in Thailand as a special case dated 22 February 2013 and have minimum investment of USD 1,000,000 per year, in a specified business, including their spouses and their under-20-year-old children, can request to change the type of visa to Non-Immigrant Visa for a term of 5 years throughout the investment period in the Flexible Plus Program.
    2. The aliens whom their types of visa have been changed as mentioned above, can apply for a work permit under the law on foreigners working management.
    3. The termination of the permission of aliens and their dependents to stay in Thailand according to this Draft Notification is under one of the following cases:
      • The minimum investment, in a specified business, does not reach USD 1,000,000 within one year from the date of entering into the program;
      • The work permit has been terminated under the law on foreigners working management; or
      • Such aliens have presumably into believing that their behavior that is danger to society, have been issued a warrant of arrest by a foreign government, being deported by the Thai government or foreign governments, or being revoked the right to stay in Thailand.
  • Draft Rules and Conditions
    1. Aliens must be a special member holding Thailand Privilege Card:
      • For the remaining members, Thailand Privilege Card must be validity at least 5 years; or
      • For the new members, they must apply for Thailand Privilege Card with a minimum card value of 1 million Baht and the validity of the card is for more than 10 years.
    2. An alien must receive a special Privilege Entry Visa (PE).
    3. An alien must invest in Thailand within 1 year from the date of requesting to join the Flexible Plus Program or from the date of approval to be a special member with a total investment value not less than USD 1,000,000 which consists of 3 types:
      • Investment in real estate according to the rights of foreigners;
      • Investment in a limited company or a public limited company; or
      • Investment in stock exchanges such as ordinary shares, debentures, or investment units which has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
    4. An alien must have all qualifications under the law on foreigners working management.

On 29 September 2021, the Cabinet has approved a draft Announcement of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Interior (MOI) regarding Limitation of Numbers of Alien Annually having residence in Thailand as proposed by MOI.

The aliens under nationality of each country having residence in Thailand of the year 2021 will be limited to not exceeding 100 persons per country and stateless aliens will be limited to not exceeding 50 persons.

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This Announcement is structured to be in accordance with Section 40 paragraph one and Section 41 of the Immigration Act B.E. 2522 (1979) and Section 5 paragraph one of the Immigration Act B.E. 2522 (1979), as amended by the National Council for Peace and Order Announcement No. 87/2557 dated 10 July 2014.

On 27 September 2021, the Government Gazette website has published the Ministerial Regulation Determining the Rate of Contributions to the Social Security Fund B.E. 2564

The reasons for the promulgation of this Ministerial Regulation are to alleviate the burden of employers and insurers in accordance with the current economic and social situation affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak.

The main point of the said Ministerial Regulation is to adjust the rate of contributions to an appropriate rate that the government, employers and insurers under section 33 shall pay to the fund for compensation for injury or sickness, disability, death, childbirth, child allowance, old age, and unemployment according to the list of contribution rates annexed to the Ministerial Regulation as follows:

1. From 1 September 2021 to 30 November 2021, the rate is to be in accordance with Schedule A below.

PayersContribution rate in percentage under the insured’s wages
Contributions for compensation for injury or sickness, disability, death, and childbirth 
Government1.5
Employers1.5
Insurers1.5
Contributions for compensation for child allowance and old age 
Government1
Employers0.95
Insurers0.95
Contributions for compensation for unemployment 
Government0.25
Employers0.05
Insurers0.05

2. From 1 December 2021 onwards, the rate is to in accordance with Schedule B below.

PayersContribution rate in percent of the insured’s wages
Contributions for compensation for injury or sickness, disability, death, and childbirth 
Government1.5
Employers1.5
Insurers1.5
Contributions for compensation for child allowance and old age 
Government1
Employers3
Insurers3
Contributions for compensation for unemployment 
Government0.25
Employers0.5
Insurers0.5

On 27 June 2021, we were invited by Thai Theatre Foundation to provide a special lecture on the topic of labour law to participants in the theatre industry.

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Lecturer: Panisa Suwanmatajarn

Due to the effect from the outbreak of COVID-19, the Ministry of Labour then had proposed a Draft Ministerial Regulation on the Social Security Fund Contribution Rates (No. ..) B.E. …. (the “Draft Ministerial Regulation”) to the Cabinet in order to alleviate the suffering of insured employees affected by such outbreak of COVID-19.

Summaries of the Draft Ministerial Regulation are as follows:

  1. The rates of contribution schedule attached to the Ministerial Regulation on the Social Security Fund Contribution Rates B.E. 2563 will be revised to the new rates.
  2. Such new rates will be valid for 2 months starting from 1 February 2021 to 31 March 2021.
  3. The insured employees under Section 33 of the Social Security Act B.E. 2533 will be entitled to a reduction of social security fund contribution to be at the rate of 0.5% of their wage’s rates. For the employers and the government, the rates of contribution are still the same, i.e. 3% and 2.75% of the insured employees’ wage rates, respectively.
  4. The contribution for benefits related to injury, sickness, incapability, death and parturition will be at the rate of 0.2% of the insured employees’ wage rates applied to all insured employees, employers and government.
  5. In regard to the contribution for benefits related to child and old age, the government’s contribution rate will be reduced as 2.3% of the insured employee’s wage rates whereas the employers’ contribution rate will be reduced as 2.7% of the insured employees’ wage rates and the employees’ contribution rate will be reduced as 0.2% of their wage rates.
  6. In addition, the contribution for benefits related to unemployment will be reduced as 0.25% of the insured employee’s wage rates for the government and as 0.1% of the insured employee’s wage rates for the employers and the insured employees.

This Draft Ministerial Regulation was approved by the Cabinet on 26 January 2021 and is expected to be enacted and become enforced shortly.

With the current situation in Samut Sakhon Province, which has large numbers of new infections among migrant workers, it is expected that the 6 provinces around Samut Prakarn Province including Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, and Samut Songkhram will be affected. This situation is a threat to public order and safety, public health security and Thailand’s economic and social system affecting the employers to temporarily pause their businesses and the insured employees who contributes the funds to the social security system will be unemployed and unpaid.  

The Ministry of Labour then has proposed a Draft Ministerial Regulation on Unemployment Benefits in the Event of Force Majeure arising from the Outbreak of Dangerous Diseases under the Communicable Disease Act B.E. …. (the “Draft Ministerial Regulation”) to the Cabinet in order to alleviate suffering of insured employees affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 and it was approved by the Cabinet on 22 December 2020.

industry metal fire radio

Summaries of the Draft Ministerial Regulation are as follows:

  1. The Draft Ministerial Regulation was effective retrospectively from 19 December 2020 onwards.
  2. A definition of “Force majeure” will include “A danger arising from the outbreak of dangerous communicable disease under the Communicable Disease Act, which creates effect to the public and to the extent that the insured employees are unable to work or the employers are unable to operate their businesses normally.
  3. In case that force majeure event occurs and the government and authorities order to lock down the area in order to prevent spreading out of outbreak of dangerous communicable disease under the Communicable Disease Act in which it creates non-payment of wage to the insured employees, such insured employees will be entitled to receive the benefit at the rate of 50% of their dairy wage rate. Such benefit will be payable during the whole period of time that government and authorities order to lock down, but within one calendar year, will not be more than 90 days for each occurrence of force majeure event.