Millions of workers avail of government relief funding

THAILAND: Millions more "independent" workers have subscribed to the Social Security Fund (SSF), bringing the total to 10 million beneficiaries of the government's Covid-19 relief programme.

Poolsap Suanmuang, manager of the Foundation for Labour and Employment Promotion, said the sudden jump in memberships resulted from the government’s launching of assistance programmes for workers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

She added that more people seeking financial relief were accepted to the SSF Section 40 group insurance program during the pandemic than at any previous period. Section 40 covers non-mainstream workers doing small-scale trades, with many of the new members coming from the stricken entertainment industry.

Suanmuang said that the increase in membership would result in enhanced benefits for all members, but she did express concern that the numbers would be maintained. "The underlying issue here is how to keep them subscribed to the SSF," she said.

The age for Section 40 membership has been broadened to now include those aged up to 65, up from the previous membership limit of 60 years old.

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