More employers join social security programmes to protect workers

  • Over 700 business firms, representing the formal private sector, sign up for the scheme
- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Jan 29, 2019-

More than 700 business firms, representing the formal private sector, have registered under the Contribution-based Social Security Schemes, a progress hailed by the government as an encouraging sign of the new programme’s implementation.

A total of 734 private firms have registered with the Social Security Fund under the scheme which was formally launched by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli nationwide on November 27.

Of the total employers coming under the scheme, which aims to protect and secure employees in the formal private sector, 625 companies have completed the due process for enrollment, according to the Social Security Fund statistics.

A variety of employers representing manufacturing companies, service sector such as hospitals, airlines, hotels and restaurants, security companies, cooperatives, banks, insurance companies, hydropower, internet service providers and online business operators have come forward to cover their workers as per the scheme.

Details of 272 firms have already been verified by the fund, according to Shankar Nepal, director with the Social Security Fund. The government awarded 272 firms, whose details have been approved, with certificates at a ceremony on Monday. Labour, Employment and Social Security Minister Gokarna Bista said the progress was encouraging. The enthusiasm shown by the private firms would encourage others to take up the scheme for their workers, he added.

“The contribution-based social security scheme ensures a safer and dignified future and livelihood for thousands of workers who contribute their best time to the employer and the nation,” Bista said, urging every employer to sign up for the scheme to avail of benefits for both the organisation and their employees.

With the programme, a never-before initiative at protecting workers nationwide, the government targets to cover nearly 3.5 million workers of the formal private sector, offering them a comprehensive welfare package.

So far many big corporate houses as well as small and recent start-ups of the country have joined the scheme for depositing the fund amounts equivalent to 31 percent of a worker’s basic salary—11 percent deducted from their monthly salary and 20 percent contributed by the employer.

“The response to the scheme is gratifying as big names in the Nepali market have been enrolled, meaning that a sizeable labour force is already protected,” the minister said.

Under the contribution-based scheme, private sector workers will be entitled to old-age pension, medical treatment, health protection, maternity coverage, accidents, and disability compensation.

“The scheme is a win-win for both the employer and workers. It also has the potential to discourage labour migration as workers can get welfare facilities and pension at home, ensuring a better future for them,” the minister added.

The ministry also plans to hold consultation with trade union leaders and employers to expedite the registration process.

Published: 29-01-2019 08:15

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