The government is working to amend laws in order to promote higher quality working lives for women. The Ministry of Labor is now seeking to provide women with paid maternity leave for up to 98 days, up from 90 currently.
Deputy Government Spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek provided an update on proposals made to the prime minister by the rights group on the occasion of International Women’s Day. One proposal addressed eight out of 98 maternal leave days that are available to women, which comprise unpaid leave days. The law currently calls for employers to pay wages to women who take maternity leave for up to 45 days, after which the Social Security Office (SSO) takes over. The SSO then pays wages for the remaining 45 days, meaning the employee receives 90 total days of paid maternity leave. The eight remaining days are unpaid leave days.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered relevant laws to be amended so workers are paid for the eight remaining leave days.
Ratchada said women taking maternity leave will receive 50% of their average wages for 98 days, rather than just 90 days.
The SSO has recently been raising the benefits it offers to women. The delivery allowance has been increased to 15,000 baht from 13,000 baht. The monthly child-rearing stipend has also been increased to 800 baht from 600 baht. Prenatal care allowance was meanwhile raised to 1,500 from 1,000 baht, with breast check-ups and cervical cancer screenings offered without charge for social security members.