First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: The government is preparing to amend the work procedure of the Social Security Fund (SSF) based on the contribution of the private sector workers.
The government has decided to revise the SSF stating that the fund has not been able to attract the targeted employers and employees even two years after its implementation.
The fund, which started on November 27, 2018 with the slogan ‘Beginning of a New Era’,has registered a total of 12,000 employers and 176,000 employees so far.
The scheme, which was criticized in the initial stage, has till date been able to attract a small number of employers from various sectors. Therefore, the fund is preparing to make some modifications in its service under various schemes based on the complaints of employers and workers and the suggestions of experts, according to Bibek Panthee, the fund’s spokesperson.
For this, the SSF has already formed a sub-committee during a meeting of its Board of Directors on September 30. The fund believes it will be able to attract more contributors after the working procedure is revised. Panthee said that the revised procedure will benefit the contributors more in the future. He said the draft has made a lot of revisions mostly in the schemes related to Health and Maternity Protection, Old Age Treatment Service, and also for facilitating foreign workers.
Under the first scheme of Medical Treatment, Health and Maternity Protection service, the fund will include a provision to provide 60 percent of the employees’ salary of 38 days during the maternity leave of the female contributor. Panthee said that this scheme will cover maternity service for six weeks. The fund will also provide an amount equal to one month’s basic salary for childcare expenses when the spouse of a male contributor gives birth to a child.
Similarly, the fund will also provide health treatment facility to the contributors who are above 60 years of age under the Medical Treatment, Health and Maternity Protection Scheme.
Panthee said that the fund has submitted a proposal on how to include employees who meet with an accident or become disabled before they have started contributing to the SSF. This provision had earlier not been included under the Accident and Disability scheme. Previously, under this scheme a contributor had to have contributed at least one month’s salary to avail the facilities.
Currently, the fund bears all the cost of medical treatment in case a contributor meets with an accident while still on official duty and up to Rs 700,000 if the contributor meets with an accident while working beyond official assignments.
According to Panthee, the fund has also proposed to provide Rs 700,000 to the family of a foreign employee under SSF in case of the contributors’ death.
Since, it needs to make a separate agreement to provide this service to foreign employees the fund has proposed to handover the amount at once to the family of the deceased foreign employee. Also because of complicationsthat could arise in providing the educational fees to the children and family of such contributors, the fund has proposed for providing the amount at once.
The fund said that it is making many changes to the Old Age Protection scheme. Under this scheme, out of total 31 percent contribution – 20 percent from employers and 11 percent from employees – only 28.33 percent can be kept. Since many employees have been disagreeing with this provision, the fund has planned to reduce the contribution amount.
Panthee said that since 28.33 percent is quite a big amount, the fund has proposed to make a separate scheme by reducing the amount.
The fund also mentioned in its draft to deduct 10 percent from the 28.33 percent contribution amount to be deposited under this scheme and provide additional benefits to the employees.
According to Panthee, whether a person is employed or unemployed, the 28 percent will be broken down and 18 percent will be kept under the leave amount and the remaining 10 percent can be used in difficult situations even if they are not employed.
Till date, there were pension and retirement services under theOld Age Protection scheme and it is mandatory for all people who have started working after mid-July, 2019. People who started working prior to this date are also allowed to join any of these two services.In order to avail the service, the contributors must be over 60 years of age and they will have to contribute to the fund for at least 15 years.
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