COVID-19

News and analyses

COVID-19

News and analyses

News on the coronavirus (COVID-19)

istock
Published:
16 November 2022
Type:

Analysis

Region:
Europe
Topic:
Human resource management
Technological transition
COVID-19
Guideline:
Good Governance
Information and Communication Technology
Human Resource Management in Social Security Administration

While social security administrations have gradually pursued digital strategies over the past decades, the COVID-19 crisis accelerated their digital transformation journey. The resilience and scalability of digital systems in responding to unprecedented needs despite operational constraints has dramatically moved the needle on organizations going “digital by default”. This article builds on the experiences of social security institutions in Europe.

Resilience business for sustainable and inclusive growth concept. Stock photo.
Published:
16 August 2022
Type:

Analysis

Region:
Asia and Pacific
Topic:
Human resource management
Business process
Service delivery
COVID-19
Guideline:
Good Governance
Service Quality
Information and Communication Technology

The unprecedented surge in the need for social security during the COVID-19 crisis overwhelmed institutions’ service delivery channels, both physical and online. This article deals with the importance of Business Continuity Management in light of the pandemic, building on good practices of social security institutions in Asia and the Pacific.

Wealth stock illustration
Published:
23 June 2022
Type:

Analysis

Region:
Americas
Topic:
Contribution collection and compliance
COVID-19
Guideline:
Service Quality
Contribution Collection and Compliance
Information and Communication Technology
Administrative Solutions for Coverage Extension

Contribution collection and compliance plays a fundamental role in social security as it helps to ensure the sustainability of social security systems and promotes a higher level of coverage among workers. As the ISSA Guidelines on Contribution Collection and Compliance (ISSA, 2019) put it, “The timely and full payment of contributions by and on behalf of insured persons is necessary if they are to achieve the benefits to which they are legally entitled”.

Stethoscope and calculator symbol for health care costs or medical insurance
Published:
22 March 2022
Type:

Analysis

Topic:
Cash sickness benefits
Extension of coverage
COVID-19

Sickness benefits are an essential component of social health protection, promoting the human right to health and social security, by preventing impoverishment due to the loss of income during sickness. The COVID-19 crisis has brought sickness benefits into the spotlight as a major measure to mitigate the spread of the disease and ensure income protection for those who fall sick. At the same time, the pandemic has emphasized coverage gaps and key concerns that need to be addressed for sickness benefits to attain their purpose.

Published:
22 February 2022
Type:
News
Region:
Asia and Pacific
Topic:
Governance and administration
Extension of coverage
Population ageing
Social policies & programmes
COVID-19

Social security will play a more critical role in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it cannot do so alone. This is one of the key conclusions of a new report by the International Social Security Association (ISSA), outlining five main priority areas for social security in Asia and the

Portrait of a businesswoman wearing protective facemask using digital tablet in co-working office space
Published:
2 February 2022
Type:

Analysis

Region:
Asia and Pacific
Topic:
COVID-19

The region of Asia and the Pacific is home to over 60 per cent of the global population. The COVID‑19 pandemic provoked a crisis that destroyed millions of jobs and livelihoods. Across the region, its impacts and government responses to it have differed widely. While there were 640 million multidimensional poor people in the region in 2019, the pandemic’s socioeconomic impacts may double this figure (ESCAP, ADB and UNDP, 2021). Like in other regions, the pandemc imperils progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular by reversing gains in poverty reduction (ILO, 2021a, p. 19).

Published:
5 November 2021
Type:

Analysis

Region:
Americas
Topic:
COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has forced countries across the Americas to take unprecedented steps to protect their populations, chiefly in the fields of public health and social security. In particular, States have developed a wide range of policies designed to safeguard their citizens against lost income when lockdown measures have made it impossible for them to carry out their productive economic activities. Such policies are many and varied, primarily comprising employment protection, the mobilization of unemployment benefits and the creation of social programmes to protect those groups hit hardest by the crisis, such as self-employed and informal workers.

Published:
5 October 2021
Type:
News
Region:
Africa
Topic:
Governance and administration
Extension of coverage
Population ageing
Social policies & programmes
COVID-19

A new ISSA report explains how innovation in social security has facilitated successful emergency responses to the pandemic while also maintaining and improving service delivery.

face masks- african tissue
Published:
28 September 2021
Type:

Analysis

Region:
Africa
Topic:
Health
Employment
COVID-19

Effective access to adequate social protection plays a crucial role in promoting sustainable development, social cohesion and socioeconomic resilience. In recognition of this, African governments have expressed a renewed commitment to expand the scope and extend social security coverage to the vast majority of the population on the continent during the last decades. However, effective coverage rates remain generally low and vary within countries and across branches of social security due to low labour participation in the formal economy (ILO, 2017).

Economic recession due to coronavirus
Published:
6 July 2021
Type:

Analysis

Region:
Americas
Topic:
Data analytics
COVID-19

The correct interpretation of data is a great challenge faced by all organizations. In an increasingly fast-paced environment, which demands timely and apposite decisions, data analysis has become an increasingly important tool. In particular, in the context of COVID-19, the use of analytical technologies has enabled institutions to better evaluate the health and social impact of the pandemic and to improve decision-making processes.

Published:
23 June 2021
Type:
News
Topic:
Governance and administration
Information and communication technology
Service delivery
COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in social security. Despite the human tragedy of the pandemic, handled correctly, this is a golden opportunity for long-lasting improvements to service delivery by social security institutions. This

Health Insurance, Healthcare business graph and Medical examination, Doctor with stethoscope pointing at business data growth chart ,Medical and medicine business on hospital background.
Published:
18 June 2021
Type:

Analysis

Topic:
Health Insurance
Technological transition
Extension of coverage
Service quality
COVID-19

Universal health coverage (UHC) is a global health priority and access to health care services is one of the most important components of social security. The COVID-19 pandemic has once again highlighted the need for universal access to affordable care. Health care service delivery systems and financing methods have important repercussions for people in accessing and benefitting from health coverage. While national health insurance systems enable comprehensive and equitable access to health-care services in many countries, implementing them involves several challenges.

Old man with protective face mask is having physical therapy at home
Published:
21 May 2021
Type:

Analysis

Topic:
Health
Return to work
COVID-19
Guideline:
Return to Work and Reintegration

Rehabilitation is a core issue for individuals and social security. Having already been brought to the forefront in the context of ageing societies, the COVID-19 pandemic has further accentuated the important role of rehabilitation, as many coronavirus patients require help to get back to a normal life and work. Rehabilitation programmes that are based on a holistic approach combining care, return-to-work and social benefits, whilst improving cooperation between different actors, have emerged as most promising to effectively meet increasing rehabilitation needs.

Doc and telemedicine, remote consultation service using videocall
Published:
11 May 2021
Type:

Analysis

Region:
Americas
Topic:
Medical care
E-services
COVID-19
Guideline:
Information and Communication Technology

Telemedicine is a discipline that involves the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to provide remote medical services. Health-care professionals can use it to carry out prevention activities and those related to the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of health-care system users, in particular those who are unable to seek care in person.

Hand shield protect wooden human on table
Published:
29 April 2021
Type:

Analysis

Topic:
Health
Family benefits
Unemployment
Extension of coverage
Social assistance
COVID-19
Guideline:
Administrative Solutions for Coverage Extension

After over a year since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts to address existing and new social security coverage gaps due to extensive labour market disruptions continue to be at the forefront of governments’ agendas to minimize the negative impact of the crisis and protect people’s livelihoods.

Published:
28 April 2021
Type:
News
Topic:
Safety and health at work
COVID-19

As we mark the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April, focus is on building resilient occupational safety and health (OSH) systems as we emerge gradually from COVID-19. The global pandemic has put the health and safety of workers on the agenda like never before. We need to build on this

Doctors wear protective suits
Published:
13 April 2021
Type:

Analysis

Topic:
Health
COVID-19

Health systems across the world are under severe pressure to contain and mitigate the infection rate of COVID-19. The pandemic is revealing serious vulnerabilities and gaps in the health systems of many countries. These are impacting the capacities to control the pandemic, stabilize health conditions and restore economic activity. The need for strategies and solutions to support social security institutions in facing these challenges is fundamental to ensure the right to health for all.

Asian man being fired
Published:
6 April 2021
Type:

Analysis

Topic:
Unemployment
Social assistance
COVID-19
Guideline:
Promotion of Sustainable Employment

The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted world economies and social security systems for over a year now. This article focuses on measures taken to secure the livelihoods of those whose employment relationship was cut.

Portrait of a businesswoman with face mask in office
Published:
26 March 2021
Type:

Analysis

Region:
Americas
Topic:
Occupational accidents and diseases
COVID-19
Guideline:
Return to Work and Reintegration
Prevention of Occupational Risks
Workplace Health Promotion

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of safety, health and well-being, and the role that social security institutions play to support their beneficiaries in navigating through the pandemic. By promoting a prevention culture, governments, workers, employers and social security institutions contribute to building a safer, healthier and more productive working environment. A healthy workforce also contributes to the sustainability of social security systems.

Mother and Son Using Laptop
Published:
26 February 2021
Type:

Analysis

Topic:
Cash sickness benefits
Family benefits
Unemployment
COVID-19

The closure of childcare centres and schools resulting from the COVID-19 lockdown measures has imposed a heavy strain on families, both on the children and their parents, and especially the mothers. The pandemic exposed yet again the preponderance of women in childcare and housework, raising once more the serious challenges of gender equality, women’s rights to social security as well as their financial security and overall well-being (Doucet, Mathieu and McKay 2020, p. 277).

Abstract business objects as symbol
Published:
19 February 2021
Type:

Analysis

Topic:
Governance and administration
Social policies & programmes
COVID-19

Social protection systems have been one of the most effective instruments to mitigate the social, economic and health impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Governments worldwide moved swiftly to extend and adapt existing schemes and create new benefits to protect employment, prevent poverty and facilitate health-related restrictions. Social security institutions innovated to respond rapidly to the demands from governments and the public, and delivered existing and new benefits in an unprecedented and difficult context.

Mask and notes
Published:
15 February 2021
Type:

Analysis

Region:
Europe
Topic:
Contribution collection and compliance
COVID-19

As part of the wider economic stimulus packages to respond to the second wave of COVID-19, governments continue to temporarily defer the collection of social security contributions (SSC), or to exempt from or reduce the contribution payments of some population groups. To date, 68 countries have introduced at least one of these measures (ISSA Coronavirus Country Measures Monitor). An April 2020 communication from the European Commission supported these as a “valuable tool to reduce the liquidity constraints of undertakings and preserve employment” during the COVID-19 crisis (EC 2020a).

Published:
29 January 2021
Type:
News
Region:
Central Africa
East Africa
Topic:
Occupational accidents and diseases
Safety and health at work
COVID-19
Guideline:
Prevention of Occupational Risks

The World Congress Digital Meeting on 5-6 October 2020, was an opportunity to reflect on occupational safety and health in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thought leaders from around the world discussed emerging innovations in addressing COVID-19 in the workplace, how the future of work is being

Woman working from home on laptop telecommuting with business partners
Published:
22 January 2021
Type:

Analysis

Topic:
Human resource management
Innovation capacity
Information and communication technology
Technological transition
COVID-19

At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the immediate response of governments has been massive in both scale and coverage, to cushion the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic. A raft of emergency measures were urgently implemented including ad hoc income transfers and unemployment benefits, targeted subsidies, free COVID-19 tests, subsidized health care and other support programmes. In many countries, governments have relied on social security institutions to distribute these subsidies and benefits, including to the most vulnerable groups especially low-income earners, informal sector workers, women, migrants and the youth.

Published:
21 January 2021
Type:
News
Topic:
Health
Return to work
COVID-19

The International Social Security Association (ISSA) is stepping up its work on rehabilitation, and is taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on rehabilitation needs and capacities. The recently established ISSA Special Working Group on Rehabilitation has ambitious plans for the

Published:
18 December 2020
Type:
News
Topic:
Extension of coverage
Migration
Bilateral agreements
COVID-19
Guideline:
Administrative Solutions for Coverage Extension

As we mark International Migrants Day on 18 December, we put attention on how the COVID-19 pandemic has put a heavy toll on migrant workers around the globe. A recent report by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) outlined how

Poor man hand holds an empty wallet
Published:
2 December 2020
Type:

Analysis

Region:
Americas
Topic:
Pensions
Unemployment
Difficult-to-cover groups
Social assistance
COVID-19

Across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing gaps in social security coverage. The crisis' impact is particularly severe in low- and middle-income countries where many workers, especially those in the informal sector, have no access to any form of social protection. The crisis prompted governments to establish new social security benefits on an emergency basis for uncovered groups and to take rapid measures to expand existing social security schemes for those covered populations perceived as particularly vulnerable.