Press Release: Descendant of former fishing worker from Myanmar, HLA PHYU, receiving 1,041,600 baht as death benefits As a result of occupational fatality from the Phetchaburi Social Security Office’s Workmen’s Compensation Fund

13 May 2020

Press Release 

Descendant of former fishing worker from Myanmar, HLA PHYU, receiving 1,041,600 baht as death benefits

As a result of occupational fatality from the Phetchaburi Social Security Office’s Workmen’s Compensation Fund

On 14 October 2019 around 20.00, Mr. HLA PHYU, a fishing worker from Myanmar, accidentally fell off the Por Banchongsap Fishing Boat at 12.32.100 latitude and 100.09.400 longitude (bearing 080, 10.8 miles from the Pranburi Estuary). His employer has since informed the Royal Thai Navy Region 1’s Operations Center. It has led to a search and rescue operation led by a helicopter with help from nearby fishing boats which have received the information and request for help via radio. It has gone to no avail.

Later, staff from the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) has approached HLA PHYU’s family and informed them of legal procedure regarding the work-related disappearance since it must be treated as a case whereby an employee has gone missing during the work or while acting per the instruction of the employer. It is therefore plausible that such employee has perished as a result of an incident while performing his work or acting per the instruction of his employer. And as such disappearance has taken place at least 120 days since he was last seen, descendants of the deceased are therefore entitled to death benefits and other compensation from the “Workmen’s Compensation Fund” of the Social Security Office.

Upon the completion of 120 days, HRDF’s staff has accompanied Mrs. AUNG MA ZAN, HLA PHYU’s mother, to file a form notifying the perishment, ailment or disappearance and a request for death benefits pursuant to Workmen’s Compensation Fund Act 1994 at the Phetchabruri Social Security Office. Later, the officials have issued an order no. PB 0030/9485 on 29 April 2020 declaring that Mrs. AUNG MA ZAN is entitled to death benefits from the Workmen’s Compensation Fund  including  33,600 baht for funeral rite and death benefits for 120 months, paid in installment at 8,400 baht a month, altogether 1,008,000 baht. Today on 12 May 2020, Mrs.  AUNG MA ZAN has gone to collect the money and asked for a lump sum payment. As a result, the amount is subject to deduction for 118 months or 98,293.95 baht. The net death benefits inclusive of the funeral expenses therefore come to 943,306.05 baht (nine hundred forty-three thousand and three hundred baht and six satang).

Ms. Chonthicha Tangworamongkhol, Director of HRDF, says that recently, the Ministry of Labor has shifted to ensure that all employees including migrant workers have a better access to protection and benefits from the Workmen’s Compensation Fund. Notifications have been issued concerning the types, sizes and vicinities where the employers are obliged to pay the contributions, the contribution rate, the deposit rate, the methods to assess and collect the contributions as published in the Government Gazette on 19 March 2019. This is to ensure that the Workmen’s Compensation Fund applies to employees in agricultural, fishing, forestry and livestock sectors. An employer with at least one employee is obliged to pay the contributions within 30 days since the day the employer has recruited the employee to work in any vicinities of the Kingdom. And if an employer fails to pay contributions to the Workmen’s Compensation Fund, they shall be held liable for violating the Workmen’s Compensation Fund Act 1994. Certain businesses are exempted from the contribution payment including when the employer is a natural person and the work performed by their employee is non-business and if the employer is engaged in street vendor businesses. The Social Security Office is duty-bound to ensure all employees have a better access to protection and benefits.

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For more information, please contact Mr. Wichan Thamrai, Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) Phone: 063-579-6989, E-mail: legal.wichan@gmail.com