Labour Ministry accepts taxi drivers’ plea for pandemic aid

THE Ministry of Labour has responded to a plea from taxi drivers to provide them with financial aid due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on their occupation. Right now drivers are encouraged to sign up for Social Security coverage, while the authorities are finding appropriate ways to help drivers over 65 years old who are not eligible for new Social Security registration, NNT said today (August 2).

Mr. Withoon Naewpanich, president of the Commercial Association of the Thai taxi network, today met with Labour Minister Suchat Chomklin to follow up on the three aid requests made by taxi drivers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the meeting, the Labour Minister said the government now provides a scheme to help independent workers including taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers affected by lockdown measures in provinces under the strictest Covid-19 controls, to receive a payout through Social Security.

This scheme provides a payout of 5,000 baht per person for those affected by the situation, which also includes other occupations such as hawkers, waiters, singers and musicians at nightlife venues.

To get this payout, affected persons must register for their Social Security coverage under Article 40, a dedicated Social Security category for independent workers aged 15-65 years old.

For those over 65, the Labour Ministry will be discussing with the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) an amendment to related regulations and submission of the proposed changes to the Cabinet as quickly as possible.

The Labour Ministry now plans to submit a list of those who have yet to sign up for their Social Security coverage to the Cabinet at the weekly Cabinet meeting on August 10, to allow these people to get their payout on August 24.

Withoon said the meeting with the Labour Minister allows him to understand better the roles of the government and the Labour Ministry, and that he is now reassured the government will not leave anyone behind.

The Labour Ministry has provided supplies of essential items donated by private firms to the foundation for taxi drivers, to be delivered to affected drivers, as well as providing financial support to the foundation to provide boxed meals to the drivers, as a way to help alleviate their hardship.

So far, around 20,000 taxi drivers have already signed up for the Social Security coverage, in the Article 40 category of the scheme.


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