Government Faces Challenges to Include Employees of Informal Sector in Social Security Programme

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Government Faces Challenges to Include Employees of Informal Sector in Social Security Programme

May 2: The government has failed to register the number of employees working in the informal sector despite such provision mentioned in the Labour Act and Social Security Act.

Trade unions have been demanding for registration of employees from the informal sector since 15 years to help them receive support from the government and address their problems. But it has not been implemented accordingly.

Binod Shrestha, president of the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Union (GEFONT), said although there has not been significant achievement in terms of registration, there has been some encouraging improvements. The issue of registration was raised to keep a tab on expenses of workers.

"We want to link the informal sector to social security based on contribution but the question arises who will pay 20 percent of the daily wage workers working in the informal sector. Village councils and the local bodies need to help in this regard," said Shrestha.

Shrestha further said that a task force has been formed to register workers working in the informal sector and link them to contribution-based social security.

“The government has committed to implement this provision so we can be hopeful about it,” he said.

Similarly, Pushkar Acharya, president of Nepal Trade Union Congress, said that it is the ineffectiveness on part of the government  that the registration process has not been implemented even after one year. Until and unless workers are registered they will not be eligible for benefits from the Social Security Fund (SSF).

It is the workers from the informal sector who have been affected the most with the enforcement of prohibitory orders, said Acharya. If they had been linked with the SSF, they would have now got the benefits from the government.

According to GEFONT, workers were laid off from work and deprived from the wages from the initial days of lockdown which has repeated again this time.

Emphasis on sustainable and reliable labor relations

The umbrella organization of employers have stressed on the need to make labour relation between industries and workers sustainable and reliable. Issuing a press release on the International Labour Day on May 1, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) said that though labour relations are on the path of improvement, it needs to be made reliable and sustainable. 

 

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