Sam Heng: Social security must widen to include more workers

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Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng (pictured) is pushing for the National Social Security Fund to be implemented more successfully this year. Photo supplied

As of last year, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) registered more than 10,000 enterprises to cover more than 1.7 million workers under occupational risk and healthcare schemes.

Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng is pushing for the schemes to be implemented more successfully this year.

NSSF director Ouk Sam Vichea said during the 2019 NSSF Achievement Conference and Goal Setting for 2020 that last year, the NSSF registered 2,163 enterprises with 80,785 members in both the occupational risk and healthcare schemes. The conference was held on Tuesday in the capital.

Crunching the numbers from 2008 to last year, Sam Vichea said 11,078 enterprises have been registered in the healthcare sector, covering more than 1.7 million members.

“The NSSF has mainly focused on formulating policies and legal instruments through the governing board of the NSSF, which discussed, reviewed, approved and trained human resources, as well as developed information technology,” he said.

He said the NSSF has signed agreements with 13,393 health facilities and 233 more with the occupational risk scheme to cover workers and provide services for NSSF members, most of whom are factory workers.

Meanwhile, Sam Heng said the social security schemes were still lacking compared to other countries in Asean.

He expressed hope of seeing the scheme grow further, along with the pension scheme which will be launched this year.

“We will push for the launch of the pension scheme in 2020. We will push employers, and enterprise owners to register and make their contributions, as well as provide benefits for employees in a timely and effective manner.

“The new policies must be widely disseminated to employers and employees,” he stressed.

Promulgated in November last year, the Law on Social Security Scheme mandates the NSSF to cover four schemes – pension, healthcare, occupational risk, and unemployment.

The schemes will apply to persons in the public sector and those defined by the provisions of the Labour Law, including personnel working in the aviation and maritime industries, as well as domestic workers and self-employed individuals.

Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions president Yang Sophorn said although the NSSF has played a major role in helping workers, it still should implement more actions addressing the challenges faced by the workers, “especially the issue of limited services provided in hospitals”.

According to the 2019 NSSF report, the occupational risk scheme received up to 125.97 billion riel ($30.94 million) in contributions while the healthcare scheme received around 407.48 billion riel (around $100 million).

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