SSC, ILO, social partners and CSOs hold a virtual social dialogue session on design of new facility for extension of social security coverage to vulnerable and informal workers

Press release | 22 June 2021
Amman, Jordan (ILO News) The Jordanian Social Security Corporation (SSC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) held a social dialogue session with the tripartite constituents – government, employers and workers’ representatives – and civil society organizations, to discuss and validate the final design of Phase I of the Emergency Unemployment and Employment Stabilization Fund (EUESF).
The EUESF is a new initiative of the SSC that aims at extending social security coverage to vulnerable workers in the informal economy by providing short-term income support, supporting their transition to appropriate and financially sustainable participation in the social security system, and promote employment formalization.

“The design of this facility is the result of fruitful collaboration during the last months between SSC, Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Labour” said Mohammed Yaseen, SSC’s Deputy Director General. “The project will extend coverage of social security to vulnerable workers and help securing workers’ wellbeing and business continuity in the COVID-19 and post-COVID context. SSC is a national institution for all people in Jordan, and as such this facility will accelerate coverage expansion to all vulnerable workers, regardless of their gender and nationality.” 

The social dialogue, held on June 22, brought together the representatives of the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions, the Jordanian Chamber of Industry, the Jordanian National Commission for Women, the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, civil society and labour rights organizations, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and international partners.

“It’s important to keep this line of communication between all stakeholders and specially the most affected by COVID-19. The JCI strategy focus on supporting the social protection policy, inclusion of all workers in the industrial sectors in the social security and reinforce the formalization.” said Hiba Abu Taleb, Jordan Chamber of Industry “The project is timely important for stabilization the employment opportunities in all direct and indirect sectors. Expand the targeted sectors from this project to reach out the stationary, uniform factories, and the Dead Sea products considered important this phase and the next one as these are supported sectors feed in the continuous work of the education and tourism sectors”.

“The EUESF came to achieve our insight vision into the inclusion of the most vulnerable groups working in the informal most affected sectors. We expect that this facility will provide the support and maintain the resilience for these workers, especially who are working in the agricultural sector. These workers are considered among the most affected and the most difficult to reach by the social security. “said Khaled Al Fanatsa, Vice President of the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions. “The program came to complement SSC’s vision in extended coverage of the social security to all workers during the Covid 19 pandemic with a focus on the informal vulnerable workers”.

Expected to start operations shortly, during its first phase, the EUESF will support workers across a variety of sectors and employment arrangements and will include unregistered de-jure covered wage workers in the education and hospitality sector; self-employed workers such as tour guides and regular taxi drivers and workers in the agriculture sector.

“The EUESF will give SSC the opportunity to implement the most recently approved labour and social security legislation that extends mandatory coverage to the self-employed and agricultural workers, while providing the necessary support that both workers and employers need amidst the ongoing economic crisis. It will use an adaptive approach, drawing on the lessons learned during the implementation process to refine the intervention models. The ultimate goal is to transition all workers to SSC regular schemes.” said Sandra Silva, EUESF Project Manager and Social Protection Technical Specialist at the ILO’s Jordan office.

The EUSEF will support extension of coverage amongst most vulnerable workers with a combination of direct incomes support and contribution subsidies. The ILO will provide continuous technical assistance to SSC in the design and implementation of the facility. The UNHCR (the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) will support outreach and coverage extension amongst the refugee population.

The EUESF is a multi-donor’s fund, and the first phase of its implementation will be supported by the Kingdoms of Norway and Netherlands with committed funding of USD 15.5million. A phase 2 is under design and will allow to expand coverage to additional sectors.