06 Mar 2015 07:20am
WINDHOEK, 06 MAR (NAMPA)- Social Security Commission (SSC) plans to introduce an Unemployment Insurance (UI) Scheme and a Return-to-work (RTW) programme, which intends to ensure that citizens enjoy comprehensive social protection.
The Chief Executive Officer of SSC, Kenandei Tjivikua, announced here on Wednesday at a media conference that the commission has decided to do a feasibility study on the possible introduction of the two programmes in Namibia.
He said the SSC contracted a team of consultants to conduct the feasibility studies and work that commenced this year.
According to Tjivikua, the UI describes a scheme - usually on a national level - that provides financial benefits to members should they become involuntarily unemployed.
The cost of these benefits is usually met by requiring members and their employers to make regular contributions to a fund, called the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), he said.
He stressed that it is ideal that a UI scheme has goals outside of the payment of a benefit, such as providing employment services to job-seekers or supporting initiatives aimed at creating employment.
Namibia does not presently have a UI arrangement. SSC is now exploring the feasibility of such a scheme for Namibia and the steps that would need to be taken to implementation, he said.
Furthermore, he said the RTW programme has proven to be good for affected employees who benefit from much-accelerated recuperation resulting in productive employment and general well being. The RTW programme applies to employees who through an illness or accident are unable to work for a short or long term and goes beyond just providing financial assistance.
'The income replacement alone is an inadequate response in these circumstances, particularly when considering the range of parties affected such as family, employer, government and broader society,' he said, adding that the RTW will enable an inured or ill employee to return to work as soon as possible.
He said the aspects to be covered during the study for both programmes include, assessing the readiness of Namibia for such schemes, developing the legal and policy framework, assessing the existing infrastructure, defining the financial structure and details for the scheme and programme, designing the required administrative infrastructure, and planning the pilot, implementation and roll-out for the initiatives.
The study is expected to be conducted over a period of eight months. It started in January 2015.
He indicated that the after the study, the reports will be presented to the SSC board for consideration and adoption. Thereafter it will be presented to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare for further consideration and onward submitted to other relevant Government Ministries and possibly to cabinet for approval.