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.


23 July 2020
Covid-19 lockdowns, income distribution, and food security: An analysis for South Africa
  • The distancing measures deployed by South Africa impose large reductions in wage income particularly for low-skilled workers.
  • Initial lockdown policies will jeopardize the food security of low-income households dependent on labor income.
  • The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic illustrate the value of transfer policies that support vulnerable households.
20 July 2020
How much a basic income grant will cost South Africa (16.07.2020) Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu says that South Africa will introduce a universal basic income grant as part of a range of packages to help the country’s unemployed – but this plan is still a couple of years away from becoming a reality, analysts say.

26 June 2020
India: Demand for speedy passage of Social Security Bill gains steam

livemint (26.06.2020) The development comes against the backdrop of the migrant issue and labour rights coming in the spotlight in the last three months. Bihar, which goes to polls later this year, was the first to demand passage of the Bill

15 June 2020
A post-Covid-19 social protection architecture for India - analysis

Hindustan Times (11.06.2020) Stronger social protection led by an inclusive growth dividend will protect the vulnerable and drive India’s economic recovery

9 June 2020
India: Coronavirus pandemic underscores necessity to prioritise needs of poor via technology, says India at UN (05.06.2020) "Prioritising the needs of the poor and vulnerable will have to receive the highest priority with respect to digital initiatives," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said.

4 June 2020
Africa: Examining the Right to Social Protection in COVID-19 Responses (May 2020) The purpose of this paper is to examine current state interventions taken to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 using social protection in Uganda in comparison to what is happening in Kenya and South Africa. This paper will also briefly examine the impact of legal framework in supporting the right social protection in COVID-19 responses. Since social protection is wide, the focus shall be on the non-contributory/tax-financed social protection schemes and programs as these relate with supporting rights of the vulnerable sections of the society as opposed to contributory schemes.

2 June 2020
South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) on faster payment of Coronavirus COVID-19 Grants during Level 3 lockdown

Africanews (26.05.2020) Sunday’s announcement by His Excellency President Matamela Ramaphosa in response to the Corona virus epidemic brings much needed hope to the country. It also enables SASSA to accelerate the pace of paying out the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grant. In terms of the move to level 3 of the lockdown, government services will commence full reopening from 01 June 2020. At the moment SASSA is operating with a third of its staff during level 4 and a move to level 3 will increase human resource capacity drastically so that payments are made quicker than it is the case currently.

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
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.

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

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
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: 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: 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: 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.