Media Monitor


Media Monitor

The Social Security Monitor offers a selection of social security news and analysis from media and other sources around the world. External sites will open in a new window. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the ISSA is not responsible for the content of external sites.


15 May 2020
South Africa: Covid-19 grant: We can learn from Namibia

GroundUp (29.04.2020) Introducing the new “Covid-19 grant” announced by President Cyril Ramphosa will pose a huge challenge. But South Africa can learn from Namibia, which introduced an emergency grant at the beginning of April and within three weeks had paid out nearly 580,000 people. The Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 per month, together with the R500 per month supplement to each Child Support Grant (CSG) recipient, provides for the first time a social safety net for able-bodied working-age adults. These reforms amount to a temporary basic income grant payable to anyone without formal employment.

11 May 2020
India: COVID-19 impact: Informal economy workers excluded from most govt measures, be it cash transfers or tax benefits (11.05.2020) COVID-19 is far more than a health crisis. The economic crisis--a severe fallout of the virus--is grim, and much grimmer for developing countries like India. The pandemic has already exposed the health vulnerabilities facing India, especially its rural poor, and urban slum dwellers.

8 May 2020
India: EPFO income dips as deposits are deferred, withdrawals rise (08.05.2020) The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is set to face an income crisis, which will have a direct bearing on millions of its subscribers’ PF earnings in 2020-21. A million workers have already withdrawn their EPF savings in last five weeks to tide over income loss caused by the ongoing lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
EPFO has settled almost ₹3,000 crore of claims by now; this could double by internal estimates

8 May 2020
Brazil: Aid for informal and independent workers - "Coronavoucher" (02.04.2020) The benefit of continuous provision (BPC) is going to be granted to workers in the informal sector and to the self-employed. The benefit of R$600 (approx. USD $120) will be provided for the period of three months and to a maximum of two members of the same family unit whose family income is below a certain threshold; single mothers will receive two assistance quotas every month. Recipients of Bolsa Família will receive the BPC as replacement.

27 April 2020
India: Government to launch online portal for stranded migrant workers

Business Standard News (26.04.2020) The Union government is going to launch an online portal for the migrant workers in the unorganised sector impacted due to a national lockdown imposed to check the spread of Covid-19 in India. The portal, which has been tentatively named by the labour and employment ministry as the National Portal for Covid-19 Affected Unorganised Migrant Workers, will gather the details of all the unorganised sector workers who are stranded in relief camps, residential or industrial clusters. “The portal will allow the government to pass on relief benefits to the migrant workers — be it in the form of cash transfers or through other means,” a top labour ministry official said, requesting anonymity.

23 April 2020
South Africa: Millions of jobless South Africans will now get a corona grant – what you need to know

businessinsider (22.04.2020)

  • Unemployed South Africans will get R350 a month for the next six months the first benefit of its kind in the country.
  • According to current data, some ten million South Africans could be entitled to the grant. 
  • But it won't be enough to prevent hunger - SA's food poverty line is R561 a month.
  • The so-called Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 a month will be paid to individuals who are currently jobless and do not receive any other form of social grant or Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) payment.
21 April 2020
India: Government fast tracks plan to provide social security for gig workers

The Economic Times (20.004.2020) The government has fast-tracked its plan to provide social security for gig economy workers and those in the unorganised sectors, anticipating a significant increase in their numbers as unemployment soars due to the Covid-19 crisis.

20 April 2020
Coronavirus : visualisez les pays qui ont « aplati la courbe » de l’épidémie et ceux qui n’y sont pas encore parvenus

Dès le début de l’épidémie de Covid-19, en janvier, l’objectif de la Chine a été de ralentir au maximum la propagation du virus, par une politique de confinement drastique. Lorsque le virus s’est propagé en Europe, la majorité des pays – à l’exception des Pays-Bas et de la Suède qui misent sur l’immunité collective – ont également cherché à « aplatir la courbe » de l’infection afin de ne pas saturer les hôpitaux.

20 April 2020
Brazil: Avoiding the poverty pandemic: the potential of the Bolsa Família programme and the Single Registry as answers to COVID-19 (02.04.2020) This Policy Research Brief presents recommendations to leverage the structure of Brazil’s Bolsa Família conditional cash transfer programme and the Single Registry of Beneficiaries to create a temporary emergency benefit as an answer to the COVID-19 pandemic"

9 April 2020
South Africa: new “National Disaster Benefit”. (09.04.2020) The Unemployment Insurance Fund said on Wednesday that the allocated National Disaster Benefit Fund would only pay workers whose salaries had been docked until the end of the lockdown.

9 April 2020
China ups support to firms to ensure employment amid COVID-19 epidemic

Xinhua (25.03.2020)  China has pledged to lend more support to companies with multi-faceted measures in a renewed commitment to protecting jobs for its workforce amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

9 April 2020
China: Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security Announces Online Application Platform for Unemployment Insurance (12.02.2020) The provinces and autonomous regions will announce the online handling platforms within their jurisdictions that have achieved stable job returns to online claiming cities (states and alliances), and will take the initiative through SMS push, website link, handling reminders and other methods. Docking, proactive service, promote "no-face" approval, allocate funds as soon as possible, support enterprises to stabilize jobs, and properly respond to the impact of the epidemic.

9 April 2020
China: Short-time work encouraged to avoid dismissals (24.01.2020) If the enterprise is affected by the epidemic, which leads to difficulties in production and operation, it may stabilize the work position through consultation with employees, such as adjusting salary, rotating rotation, shortening working hours, etc., and try not to reduce or reduce the number of employees. Qualified enterprises can enjoy post-stabilization subsidies as required. If an enterprise suspends production and suspends production within a salary payment cycle, the enterprise shall pay the employee's salary in accordance with the standards stipulated in the labor contract. If the employee provides normal labor for more than one wage payment period, the wage paid by the enterprise to the employee shall not be lower than the local minimum wage standard. If the employees do not provide normal labor, the enterprise shall pay living expenses, and the living expenses standards shall be implemented in accordance with the regulations stipulated by the provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government.

9 April 2020
China: Hospitals are mandated to provide attention regardless of type of health insurance (23.01.2020) First, after paying for basic medical insurance, serious illness insurance, medical assistance, and other medical expenses incurred for patients diagnosed with pneumonia with a new coronavirus infection, the personal burden will be subsidized by the finance and comprehensive protection will be implemented. Second, for patients diagnosed with pneumonia with new coronavirus infection, they will be treated first and then settled, and reimbursement will not be implemented for the reduction of the proportion of payment for transfer to other places. The third is that the drugs and medical service items used to diagnose patients with pneumonia caused by new coronavirus are in accordance with the new coronavirus infection pneumonia diagnosis and treatment plan formulated by the health department, and can be temporarily included in the payment scope of the medical insurance fund.

9 April 2020
China: Workers should continue to receive remuneration during treatment and quarantine periods (24.01.2020) For employees of pneumonia, suspected patients, and close contacts of new coronavirus infection who are unable to provide normal labor during their isolation treatment or medical observation, and because the government implements isolation measures or other emergency measures, the enterprise shall pay employees The remuneration for work during this period shall not be rescinded from employees in accordance with Articles 40 and 41 of the Labor Contract Law. During this period, if the labor contract expires, it will be postponed to the end of the employee's medical period, the medical observation period, the isolation period or the emergency measures taken by the government.

8 April 2020
India: Government gives more time for social security (ESI) contributions (17.03.2020) NEW DELHI: The government has given employees and employers more time to submit their monthly insurance contribution by relaxing provisions of the Employees’ State Insurance Act in view of the Covid-19 outbreak. It has given 45 days, instead of 15 days as mandated under the Act, for submission of insurance contribution for February and March. The average monthly contribution to ESI Corporation (ESIC) by its subscribers is ₹1,300 crore. “Keeping in view the pandemic in the form of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country, the director general has relaxed the provisions as entered in regulation 26 and 31 of the Employees’ State Insurance (General) Regulations, 1950,” ESIC said in a notification on Monday.

8 April 2020
India: Government Allows Provident Fund Withdrawals As Emergency Measure (26.03.2020) The Indian government will make amendments to the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act to allow members to withdraw up to 75 percent of their balance in the fund or three months’ wages, whichever is lower, as an emergency measure to tide over any difficulties arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

2 April 2020
China: Updates on China Social Security Policies during the Coronavirus Outbreak (15.02.2020) The Standing Committee of the State Council determined that it was appropriate to reduce or waive employer contributions to pension, unemployment and work-related injury insurance schemes for enterprises in the following areas:

  • Hubei Province
    Between February and June 2020: All enterprises enrolled in China Social Security Schemes are exempt from making employer contributions to pension, unemployment and work-related injury insurance schemes. 
  • Other Provinces & Cities (except Hubei)
    Between February and June 2020: Micro, small and medium size enterprises are exempt from making employer contributions to pension, unemployment and work-related injury insurance schemes. 
    Between February and April 2020: Large enterprises may reduce employer contributions to pension, unemployment and work-related injury insurance schemes by 50%.
27 March 2020
India: Cash transfers, free foodgrains for poor in Rs 1.7 lakh (27.03.2020) NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package focused on emergency cash transfers into bank accounts of the poor, along with providing free foodgrains, pulses and cooking gas for three months in a bid to cushion them from the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and economic disruption caused by the disease. 

24 March 2020
Brazil: Extension of over 1 million beneficiaries to Bolsa Família (16.03.2020)  Announcement of the measures, which foresee an injection of R $ 147.3 billion in the economy, was made on Monday by Minister Paulo Guedes. Package expands credit to retirees and small businesses.

For the poorest population, the government informed that it will release about R $3 billion for Bolsa Família. The amount corresponds to the inclusion of over 1 million families among the beneficiaries - the government did not detail whether there will be a change in the income criteria for this membership.