From the immediate crisis response to COVID-19 pandemic towards economic recovery – decent work in focus

Part IV : "Securing fiscal space for expanded social protection programmes"

Organised by the ILO DWT and Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
30 June 2020, Tuesday
11:00 Moscow time

As of mid June, 200 countries worldwide introduced 1166 social protection measures to mitigate adverse impact of COVID -19 on workers and disadvantaged population. In Europe and Central Asia, 59 countries introduced 383 measures. Responses cover all social protection functions. Protection in case of unemployment, income and jobs protection, protection of families and children and special allowance account for more than half of all responses in ECIS region. Overall, most measures are financed by non-contributory resources, especially newly introduced programmes and benefits. Contributory funded programmes have been adjusted in order to extend coverage to workers who prior to the COVID-19 pandemic had no access to particular programmes.
Social protection through existing schemes, temporary adjustment of existing schemes or introduction of new schemes for workers, including informal, casual, seasonal and migrant workers, and the self-employed plays a critical role as immediate crisis response. Among examples of adjustment of schemes are extended access to collectively-financed paid sick leave, sickness benefits, and parental/care leave to ensure income security for those who are sick, quarantined or caring for children, elderly or other family members; relaxing eligibility criteria for unemployment benefits and social assistance, as well as raising the level of different benefits. Likewise, social assistance schemes have proved critical to measures supporting households in case of loss of income due to confinement or jobs loss.
These measures underlined the importance of well-designed and resourced national social protection floors ensuring access to basic income, health protection and services throughout the lifecycle. The ILO estimates that for developing economies, the average financing gap for implementing an adequate social protection floor is equivalent to 1.6% of GDP.  Many countries in Eastern Europe and CIS have identified and reallocated resources in national budgets to support to workers and households to cope with the impact of crisis, or advocated for additional investments by development partners to protect health, ensure income security and protect jobs. They are just the first step needed to make rapid progress toward collectively financed, comprehensive and universal social protection system able to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and possible other crisis to come.

ILO Moscow invited following speakers to share their views and insights on the above:
  • Mr. Mikhail Pouchkin, Senior Employment Specialist of the ILO DWT and Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
  • Mr. Fabio Duran Valverde, Head of Public Finance, Actuarial and Statistic (PFACTS) Unit, Social Protection Department, ILO Headquarters Geneva
  • Ms. Jasmina Papa,  Social Protection Specialist,  ILO DWT and Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
  • Mr. Jose Pacecho Jimenez, ILO expert
Moderator: Ramiro Pizarro, Manager of the Project “Partnerships for Youth Employment in the CIS”

Webinar will be conducted in Russian and English. Q&A session will follow the presentation.