Unemployment in Thailand is predicted to rise in 2021 as a result of the severe impact of the current wave of Covid-19 infections. As disease prevention measures have greatly affected business operations, employees of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) may be affected through reduced working hours due to business interruptions.
As part of the government’s aim to prevent mass layoffs in Thailand and provide support to SMEs, it was announced last week that a new 50% co-payment subsidy would be given in relation to the monthly salaries of SME employees. While the effective date has yet to be determined, this scheme could last from three to nine months and will be funded by one of the budgets passed under the latest 500-billion-baht loan decree which came into effect on 25 May 2021.
The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), together with the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and the Thai Chamber of Commerce, will identify eligible SMEs for this subsidy.
SMEs which will qualify for this new subsidy are likely to include those which could not obtain a soft loan from the central bank’s 250-billion-baht package.
Who is it suitable for?
This new scheme is likely to be more appropriate for SMES in industries which may recover rapidly. In contrast, it may be less suitable for SMEs in the tourism industry which have suffered extensive damage caused by the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.