‘I Want to be Protected’: Experiences and Perspectives of Informal Workers on Social Security in Thailand

This brief explores the experiences of self-employed workers with Article 40 of Thailand’s Social Security Fund on the basis of focus group discussions with home-based workers, street vendors and motorcycle taxi drivers in Bangkok. Most participants reported the compensation for lack of income when sick or injured as their primary motivation in joining SSF Article 40. This was the most common benefit claimed, and the respondents made it clear how relevant the benefit is for self-employed workers. Ensuring income security in older age also was regarded as important. Workers recommend that systems should be developed to regularly update SSF members’ information about their contributions and entitlements. The processes of claiming and accessing benefits should be sped up and simplified. The adequacy of benefits should be improved, and maternity and child benefits should be expanded to all SSF members. Worker organizations should be empowered to conduct outreach and awareness raising on benefits and processes, and to help workers register.