Thailand rolls out wage subsidies to deter mass layoffs
The Thai government is set to roll out a fresh wage subsidy programme, where it will co-pay 50% of the monthly salary of employees in SMEs to prevent mass layoffs nationwide.
“This co-payment scheme should be implemented as soon as possible to assist SMEs in keeping their businesses open and retaining employment,” said Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, according to Bangkok Post.
“The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) has been tasked with working with the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and the Thai Chamber of Commerce to identify SMEs eligible for the measure,” he added.
Qualified SMEs for the new co-payment scheme include those that could not acquire a soft loan from Thailand’s central bank package worth 250 billion baht (US$8 billion), he said.
The new co-payment scheme is suitable for some industries that have the potential to recover fast, like the export sector’s supply chain, but may not be as appropriate for the tourism industry, which has been hit badly by the pandemic, said Supant Mongkolsuthree, FTI chairman.
In 2020, the government launched a co-payment scheme which ran from September to October to help retain workers in businesses. This was later extended to December 2020 after receiving cabinet approval.