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.

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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.