Labour Minister Delivers Proactive Measures to Screen Foreign Workers in Factories and Remedies for Covid-19 Affected Workers

Government

Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin called upon relevant units in meeting to outline proactive measures to prevent and control the spread of infection among workers. He instructed a special working group to organize a mobile car to inspect workers in the workplace and find measures to help those affected by unforeseen circumstances from Covid-19.

On December 21, 2020, at the Prasong Rananant meeting room, 5th floor, Ministry of Labour, Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin chaired the Ministry of Labour’s executive’s meeting, along with representatives of relevant agencies such as the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Public Health, Royal Thai Police, Immigration Office, Department of Fisheries, Bangkok Administration Office, private sector representatives, and Myanmar officials, to put in place additional proactive measures for workers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic among Thai and foreign workers. The Labour Minister said that the government, under the leadership of Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha and the Ministry of Labour under the supervision of Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, care about the workforce and the general public and have continuously ordered and implemented measures. In the part of the Ministry of Labour, the Department of Employment and the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare has been instructed, together with agencies in the area, to set up a special working group to partner with the Royal Thai Police and Immigration Office, to conduct inspections for illegal foreign workers in Bangkok and its vicinity. The Social Security Office has been instructed to work with hospitals in the social security network in Samut Sakhon, to integrate proactively to organize mobile vehicles and virus examinations for companies where employees fall under the risk of exposure to the infection, providing Covid-19 screening to obtain results within 3-4 hours. The measures ensure controls are maintained as specified by the Ministry of Public Health. The Ministry of Labour’s Social Security Office has proposed the Medical Committee meeting in the Social Security Committee to proactively conduct Covid-19 tests to employees in the workplace without the employee having to pay for the screening.

Mr. Suchart spoke about remedial measures for workers affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. The Ministry of Labour’s Social Security Office brought unemployment benefits due to force majeure into the Social Security Committee and Advisory Meeting today (December 21, 2020) for approval. The Social Security Committee has approved, and the Social Security Office shall draft the Ministerial Regulation on compensation in the event of unemployment due to force majeure arising from the outbreak of dangerous infectious diseases under the Communicable Disease Act BE…. The definition of “force majeure” has been amended to include the dangers arising from the outbreak of dangerous infectious diseases according to the law on communicable diseases which affect the public and to the extent that insured persons cannot work or the employer cannot operate normally, or, in case of force majeure where the government or state agencies ordered the closure of the area to prevent the outbreak, affecting insured employees who were not working and not paid during the time. To such employees who are not paid, they will have the right to receive compensation benefits in case of unemployment at a rate of 50 percent of their daily wages, which shall be earned throughout the period that the government or government agency orders to close the area. Within a calendar year, such insured workers are entitled to compensation benefits in the event of unemployment due to force majeure for up to 90 days in total. This will come into force from December 19, 2020, onwards. The Social Security Office will apply for approval, and the Labour Minister will propose it to the Cabinet for further consideration.

Minister Counsellor Mr. Mar Bala said that Myanmar authorities are ready to work with the Thai government and the Ministry of Labour. It has promoted Thailand’s workers to be screened for Covid-19 without the need to worry about the screening. If the infection is detected, Thai public health officials will take the workers for treatment in the system following the Department of Disease Control procedures.

 

Source: Ministry of Labour