Keywords: Mazars, Thailand, COVID-19, Social Security Fund, Employee, Employer
Updated: 9 March 2021
Reduction in the Social Security Fund (SSF) Contribution Rate
Reductions in the Social Security Fund (SSF) contribution rates for both employees and employers were published in the Royal Gazette on 13 April 2020, 14 September 2020, 30 December 2020 and 5 February 2021.
The latest temporary reduction in SSF contributions from 5% to 0.5% for employees and from 5% to 3% for employers is effective from February through March 2021. Some businesses will need to request a refund from the Social Security Office (SSO).
If an employer has already submitted contributions at the normal rate of 5% for both employees and employers, the employer can claim any excess contributions back from the SSO by taking the following steps:
- Prepare the following documents signed by the person authorized with the SSF:
- Form SPS 1-23/1
- Copy of the company affidavit (issued within the last 6 months)
- Copy of the ID card / passport of the authorized person or attorney
- Copy of Form SPS1-10 (cover and detail) with receipt
- List of employees and contributions paid
- Submit all documents to the Bangkok SSO, the main provincial SSO or any branch.
- The excess contributions for both employers and employees, will be refunded by cheque payable to the employer.
- The employers should reimburse employees.
Sources: Office of the Official Information Commission
First reduction: Royal Gazette dated 13 April 2020
Second reduction: Royal Gazette dated 14 September 2020
Third reduction: Royal Gazette dated 30 December 2020
Fourth reduction: Royal Gazette dated 5 February 2021
Benefits from the Social Security Office
The Ministry of Labour announced two Ministerial Regulations on 17 April 2020 and on 30 December 2020 to allow the SSO to pay benefits to the employee in case of dismissal, resignation, work suspension due to quarantine or observing quarantine and work suspension due to COVID-19 whether by the government order or not. Under the Ministerial Regulations, we note that an employer is not obliged to pay an employee for the below reasons:
1. Employees that have been suspended from work due to quarantine, been quarantined by the authorities or hospitalised because he or she has COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.
For example, an employee suspended from work due to quarantine, quarantined by the authorities or hospitalised can use sick leave and annual leave and continue to be paid by the employer. However, the employee will not receive the benefit under the SSF unless the employer stops paying the employee’s salary.
2. Employees that have had their employment suspended because of a temporary business closure as a result of a government order or decision of the employer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The employee in items 1 and 2 who has made SSF contributions in at least 6 of the previous 15 months will receive 62% of his wages, capped at 15,000 baht per month, for a maximum of 90 days, effective from March through August 2020, according to the first announcement, and the employee will receive 50% of his wages, capped at 15,000 baht per month, for a maximum of 90 days, effective from 19 December 2020, according to the second announcement.
In addition, the employer must complete this online form to certify that their actions as described in items 2 and 3 are a result of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, which is considered an event of force majeure to the SSO. The information required in the form will be:
- Company information
- Workplace location i.e. in department store, market, stadium, exhibition centre, school, theatre, office building, etc.
- Reason why the employees cannot perform their works i.e. self-quarantine, a government order, decision by the employer due to the economy crisis or high risk infection.
- List of the employees who are not working with a start and end date.
On 21 July 2020, the Cabinet approved relief for employees who are affected by COVID-19 as set out in points 1 and 2 above, and who submitted applications from March through May 2020 that were denied because they had made SSF contributions for less than 6 months in the previous 15 months. This relief consists of a lump-sum payment of 15,000 baht to be made on 28 August 2020.
Sources: Royal Gazette and Cabinet Approval
3. The SSO increased unemployment benefits from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2022:
- For resignation, from 30% to 45% of the wage, up to a maximum of 90 days.
- For termination, from 50% to 70% of the wage, up to a maximum of 200 days.
The cap is 15,000 baht per month.
For example, an employee receiving a wage of 30,000 baht per month that has been made redundant (item 2 above) will receive a benefit of 50% x 15,000 baht = 7,500 baht per month.
First announcement: Royal Gazette dated 17 April 2020
Second announcement: Royal Gazette dated 30 December 2020