Expand your coverage - Nujoma

11 August 2020 | Government

Labour minister Utoni Nujoma urged the Social Security Commission (SSC) to expand its coverage to the informal sector and establish the National Pension Fund as a matter of urgency.
Nujoma made this statement on Monday during the SSC’s annual strategic review that took place in the capital.
“For the sake of inclusivity, the SSC should set the goal of not leaving anyone behind in the area of social protection. This can no longer be delayed in a time of uncertainty where employment is lost every day due to the economic downturn which is exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak,” he said.
He added that his expectations for the commission as it looks to the future, are in a number of critical areas, bearing in mind important principles like the introduction of unemployment insurance as a matter of priority, provision of inclusive and adequate maternity benefits for all working mothers, and strengthening and expanding the work of the development fund to support employment creation by streamlining its procedures which are cumbersome.
“The SSC should also start planning the introduction of a National Medical Benefits Fund in accordance with the Social Security Act, or working with other partners to introduce appropriate and viable alternatives,” he said.
He added that in addition, the SSC should consider the possibility of introducing amended social security and employee compensation fund legislation. “The details of how these expectations can be met may require further discussion between the commission and the ministry, in most cases at the level of senior officials. In my opinion, the failure to provide social security benefits to workers in the informal economy is discriminatory,” Nujoma said.
He said that the SSC might need to reinvent the development fund in order to strengthen its role in the area of employment creation, because there is a need to speed up the process of establishing a National Pension Fund and the need to take a closer look at government’s self-insured status in relation to Employee Compensation Act coverage which is presenting challenges in the improvement of its range of benefits for all workers. – Nampa

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