News

Social Security Media Monitor

News

Social Security Media Monitor

The Social Security Media Monitor offers a selection of social security news articles from media around the world. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the ISSA is not responsible for the content of external sites.

17 January 2022
First collective agreement for platform workers in Spain

socialeurope.eu (13.01.2022) After several reports by the labour inspectorate and contradictory judgments by the courts, in September 2020 the Supreme Court finally ruled that platform workers were employees and not self-employed workers—and that, therefore, the labour and social-security rights applying to all other workers had to apply to them as well.

17 January 2022
Social protection systems and the response to COVID-19 in the Arab region

arabstates.undp.org (28.12.2021) The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting societies and economies at their core. In the Arab Region, the pandemic has exacerbated existing structural weaknesses in economies as well as unresolved social challenges, making the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) even more urgent. Governments in the region are facing two challenges: to effectively address the health crisis and to respond to the economic and social fallout from the crisis. Governments across the region have introduced a range of social protection measures to help mitigate the impacts of the crisis. This paper aims to review the key social protection measures implemented as a response to the crisis, identify gaps, and propose ways to establish more coherent and effective social protection systems.

14 January 2022
South Africa is taking steps to a new universal income grant in 2022 – what to expect

businesstech.co.za (04.01.2022) Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu says that introducing a new basic income grant in South Africa will likely be phased in over several years, with her department currently pushing for an extension of the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant as a baseline.

13 January 2022
Understanding the Emerging Micropensions Market in India

Innovations for Poverty Action (2022) Millions of informal sector workers in low- and middle-income countries are excluded from formal pension and social security systems, posing potential economic challenges for old age populations. Micropensions may help to address these challenges—but more information is needed about the demand for these products. In India, researchers conducted a survey examining the emerging micropensions market to better understand the behavioral, economic, and institutional factors that influence participation. A majority (80 percent) of respondents reported interest in the micropension and many valued product design features that would restrict early withdrawals.

13 January 2022
California could become first US state to offer universal healthcare to residents

theguardian.com (11.01.2022) California is considering creating the first government-funded, universal healthcare system in the US for state residents. The proposal, which lawmakers will begin debating on Tuesday, would adopt a single-payer healthcare system that would replace the need for private insurance plans.
Lawmakers are debating two bills – one would create the universal healthcare system, another would outline plans to fund it by increasing taxes, especially for wealthy individuals and businesses. The sweeping healthcare reform faces significant hurdles, including opposition from powerful lobbies for doctors and insurance companies. If the bills are approved by the legislature, voters would ultimately have to approve the taxes to fund the new system in an amendment to the California constitution.

11 January 2022
Technology and Universal Health Coverage: Examining the role of digital health

 JOGH (20.11.2021) While there is tremendous promise to leverage technology for UHC, it will require smart, context-specific policies and programming with ample flexibility to adapt as needs and opportunities change – and with robust safeguards to protect privacy, data security, and equity. The health sector, by its very nature of being data intensive, lends itself to the use of technology for analytics to improve health outcomes, respond to public health crises, and efficiently and equitably allocate resources. The first imperative in considering the use of digital health to expand UHC is to remember that digital health is a means to an end, and only one of the available means. Efforts leveraging digital health to move along that path to universality have taken many forms: to increase the number of people reached, to provide enhanced service coverage, and to reduce the financial burdens on individuals in need of health care. Making use of digital health interventions is an evolving process, not a one-time decision point. It is context specific and needs a clear vision to move from pilot interventions to scaled implementation. Technology can be a key tool in achieving UHC but its use has to be strategic, judicious, and cognizant of issues around privacy and patient rights.

11 January 2022
World Employment Social Outlook 2021: The role of digital labour platforms in transforming the world of work

ilo.org (05.01.2022) Digital labour platforms are now a vital part of contemporary life—they allow us to arrange a ride, order food and access a host of other services online. They accomplish this by connecting clients or customers with workers who undertake these tasks or “gigs”. The past decade has seen the global rise of “gig workers” or “platform workers”, with platforms like Uber, Gojek, Deliveroo, Rappi, Upwork and Topcoder. Digital labour platforms have created unprecedented opportunities for workers, businesses and society by unleashing innovation on a massive global scale. Yet at the same time, they pose serious threats to decent work and fair competition. Explore this InfoStory to find out how digital labour platforms impact workers and enterprises around the world and why there is an urgent need for regulatory coherence for the platform economy.

10 January 2022
India: e-Shram registration is a stepping stone towards protection of informal workers

indianexpress.com (23.12.2021) The emergency requirements dictated by the pandemic led the Supreme Court, in May 2021, to order a time-bound inclusive and universal registration system for informal workers and circular migrants. The e-Shram portal which has come into existence now is meant to fulfil this mandatory requirement.

7 January 2022
Moroccan government plans to expand its social protection programme

atalayar.com (03.01.2022) This new plan will strengthen and develop several programmes in the areas of social assistance, improving governance, as well as launching new carve-outs that signify a reform of the targeting system. Also, this project aims to diversify and expand the support mechanisms for the most vulnerable groups of society, which in the case of retirees for example, will extend their health and retirement coverage. The government also plans to develop a system of compensation for those who have lost their jobs.  

4 January 2022
Expanding Social Protection to Informal Women Workers for Better COVID-19 Recovery in Uganda

icrw.org (2021) Uganda has a female labor force participation of 67 percent. While some efforts to advance social protection are being made, Uganda currently spends only about 3.5 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) towards that end. Meanwhile, the National Employment Policy (2010) covers social security only for workers in the formal sector, leaving informal workers unsupported. Intentional targeting and expansion of the social protection program to informal women workers is an economic investment that would shield informal businesses and households from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic shocks and closures.

4 January 2022
China: Beijing and Shanghai extend maternity leave by 30 days; parental leave entitlement introduced

Willis Towers Watson (23.12.2021) Chinese regions extend maternity leave to address declining birth rates and an aging population, bringing implications for employers.

4 January 2022
EPIC publishes annual thematic report exploring how EU Member States supported working families during COVID-19 in 2020

 European Commission (22.12.2021) The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) has published a new report exploring how EU Member States supported working families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

23 December 2021
Extending social health protection: Accelerating progress towards Universal Health Coverage in Asia and the Pacific

ilo.org (07.12.2021) This regional report documents and analyses country experiences and lessons on the extension of social health protection coverage in the Asia and the Pacific region. It provides a detailed account of progress made, challenges encountered and remaining coverage gaps, and explores their root causes.

21 December 2021
The Fairwork Pledge: Digital labour platforms, precarious work and interventions for a fairer gig economy

The OECD Forum Network (13.12.2021) How can workers in the gig economy be better protected against severe shocks and adverse working conditions?

21 December 2021
Social policy advice to countries from the International Monetary Fund during the COVID-19 crisis: Continuity and change

ILO Working paper 42 (10.12.2021) This paper explores whether there has been a change in International Monetary Fund (IMF) policy advice and conditions in its loan programmes and Article IV surveillance by examining the 148 country reports for IMF programmes in 2020, in the context of significant shifts in its global macroeconomic policy framework during the COVID-19 pandemic.

20 December 2021
Leftist millennial Gabriel Boric, that vowed to reform pensions for the poor, is elected president of Chile.

 - Pension Policy International (20.12.2021) Leftist lawmaker Gabriel Boric, 35, on Sunday became Chile’s youngest-ever president on promises of installing a “welfare state” in one of the world’s most unequal countries.

17 December 2021
Digital labour platforms, precarious work and interventions for a fairer gig economy

The OECD Forum Network (13.12.2021) How can workers in the gig economy be better protected against severe shocks and adverse working conditions?

16 December 2021
Reforms of the employment insurance system of the Republic of Korea to cope with the COVID-19 crisis

ilo.org (29.11.2021) COVID-19 pandemic that caused massive unemployment has forced countries to review their employment policy and protection system. This paper summarized efforts taken by Republic of Korea in reforming their employment protection system during the pandemic.

14 December 2021
Extending social health protection: Accelerating progress towards Universal Health Coverage in Asia and the Pacific

ilo.org (07.12.2021) This regional report documents and analyses country experiences and lessons on the extension of social health protection coverage in the Asia and the Pacific region. It provides a detailed account of progress made, challenges encountered and remaining coverage gaps, and explores their root causes.

7 December 2021
Jamaica: Informal Sector Workers to Get NIS Benefits

Jamaica Information Service (06.12.2021) For the first time, Jamaica’s household helpers and fisherfolk will be able to secure pension benefits under the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) as the Government moves to formalise these sectors. This will be facilitated under the Transition to Formality Action Plan, which will see this segment of workers being able to access health and life insurance, pension and other facilities to provide them with security and protection in their work environment. The Action Plan, which was officially launched by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, during a virtual ceremony on Tuesday (November 30), is in keeping with the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) recommendation to Member States to standardise informal sectors.