Social security benefits a key to making workers resilient to COVID-19

The consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic have forced workers of some factories to stay under the Stay-at-Home order.
This situation has been anticipated by the government since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Myanmar. To address the socioeconomic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Government has taken measures to ease the impact on workers by relaxing some rules of the Social Security Law.
Section 31 (b) (ii) of the 2012 Social Security Law says: “When the insured person and family encounter natural disaster, it is entitled to enjoy the following health care, relief material and cash assistance from the family assistance fund in accord with the stipulations
(ii) if the contribution had been paid for a minimum of 36 months prior to natural disaster and thereafter encountered the natural disaster and lost own properties, 40 percent of average wage per a month within one year before the day of such encountering natural disaster as cash assistance and relief materials provided by Social Security Board.”
However, the new announcement of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population issued yesterday said if the workers of the factories who contributed social security fee to the Social Security Department contributed up to June, 2020 and if the factories are running until 23 September, 2020, they are eligible to enjoy 40 per cent of salary as social security benefits.
In the announcement, the ministry guaranteed that the eligible workers can apply for their social security benefits starting from 24 September, 2020 the day the ministry announced the order.

If factory workers contributed social security fees to the Social Security Department for June, 2020, and if the factories are running until 23 September, 2020, then they will be eligible to enjoy 40 per cent of their salaries as social security benefits.

This is not the first time the government took necessary measures to reduce the negative repercussions from the pandemic..
In May, the Union Government has extended the duration for contributing social security fees for employers and employees to three months after the set date, instead of 15 days.
After evaluating the impact of the pandemic on the country’s businesses, the government has also reduced tax and interest rates so that people will not suffer, and to help in preventing unemployment, to continue operating factories and to have the smallest impact on the nation’s economy.
Myanmar survived many hardships through collaborative efforts between the government and the people.
We need to be in this together and show some compassion during this very important time in our lives. We are confident that we can get through this together.

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