The Thai cabinet, on Tuesday, approved a 33.47 billion baht budget to help about 6.69 million unemployed and freelance workers affected by the government’s partial lockdown restrictions, imposed in the 29 COVID-19 “Dark Red” provinces, said Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri.
People eligible for the 5,000 baht taxpayer funded cost-of-living allowance are those covered by Section 39 of the labour law, who were previously covered by the social security scheme under Section 33 and were laid off or resigned, but continued to contribute 432 baht/month to the social security fund. There are about 1.4 million such workers, according to Mr. Anucha.
There are also about 5.2 million freelancers and traders covered by Section 40 of the labour law who are eligible to the support.
Moreover, the spokesman said that an additional two billion baht was approved by the cabinet, on top of the 15 billion baht earlier earmarked to help employees and employers in 13 “Dark Red” provinces who have suffered from the partial lockdown measures.
The 29 “Dark Red” provinces are Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, Songkhla, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Ratchasima, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Saraburi, Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi, Lop Buri, Phetchabun, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, Tak, Ang Thong, Nakhon Nayok, Samut Songkhram, Prachin Buri and Sing Buri.
In the meantime, the cabinet decided to set aside 12.6 billion baht, from the Central Fund, to be disbursed as overtime pay and hazard allowances to medical personnel and public health volunteers engaged in caring for COVID-19 patients between July and September.
Anucha said that the people eligible for the payments also include members of various committees, experts, advisors and outsiders who were involved in activities related to the contagion.
The fund was originally intended for the April to June period, but was extended until the end of September due to the continuing spread of the disease, he explained.
An additional 1.8 billion baht was also approved for those involved in the vaccination process at non-hospital facilities.
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