Govt plugs overseas labour fund

Thais who fled the war in Ukraine board a bus after arriving on a commercial flight at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan on Monday afternoon. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Overseas job seekers are advised to secure membership of a labour fund which will come in handy if they face problems, including war, working in other countries, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said.

The fund has been disbursed to Thai workers who fled war-torn Ukraine at a rate of 15,000 baht per person, Ms Traisuree said.

As of March 5, 197 Thais, many of whom are workers, had returned in five groups from Ukraine with 14 more due to make their way back via Poland on Monday and a further 13 through Romania on Tuesday, she added.

Of the 197 Thais, 154 are workers insured with the fund which has paid them a total of 2.3 million baht in compensation.

Ms Traisuree said the government asks that people apply for fund membership and contribute to it before setting off and taking up employment overseas.

The fund will provide a useful financial resource in case they find themselves in an emergency situation in other countries. The fund will also payout in the event of death, sickness or war.

Membership applications can be made through job brokers or the Department of Employment (DoE).

Contributions to the fund are accepted at the DoE in Bangkok or the department’s provincial offices, according to Ms Traisuree.

Contribution rates vary according to countries; 500 baht for countries and territories in Europe, North America, Australasia, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea; 400 baht for Brunei, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, Tunisia, Sudan, Somalia, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Singapore, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, Mauritania, Iran and Hong Kong, and; 300 baht for all other countries.

The deputy spokeswoman said workers are entitled to benefits and financial assistance if they are abandoned by their employers overseas, in which case they can claim up to 30,000 worth of travel expenses to secure a return to Thailand.

The same amount is also offered toward the workers’ medical care.

Up to 15,000 baht is also provided to workers laid off or injured while working. Those left disabled receive 30,000 baht.

Workers who cannot afford to pay for accommodation, food or related expenses will be provided with up to 30,000 baht.

Those repatriated for contracting high-risk diseases, who have been employed overseas for less than six months, are offered 25,000 baht maximum and up to 15,000 baht for those who have worked for more than six months.

Also, workers in countries in a state of war or are ravaged by natural disasters or a pandemic are entitled to up to 15,000 baht.

In the event of a death overseas, a deceased worker’s family will be given 40,000 baht, plus funeral costs of up to 40,000 baht.

The fund also pays for lawyer’s fees of up to 100,000 baht to workers subject to legal action due to no fault of their own or caused by mistreatment at work.