BRICS members discuss multilateral framework on Social Security Agreement

(IANS): Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) nations have converged on devising a multilateral framework on the issue of Social Security Agreement (SSA).

Social Security Agreement would help the international workers to port their benefit to their home countries thereby preventing loss of their hard-earned money, said the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

“Further they will be exempted from contributing both in home as well as host countries.”

The decisions were taken in the first BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) meeting in which the member nations resolved to enter into dialogue and discussion with each other and take the issue forward towards signing of the agreements. The two-day virtual meeting concluded on Wednesday with India assuming BRICS Presidency this year.

The prime agenda for the discussions were promoting Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS nations, formalisation of labour markets, participation of women in labour force and Gig and platform workers –role in labour market.

The representatives of International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Social Security Agency (ISSA), who also took part in the meeting, made valuable interventions and suggestions on the agenda issues. They also expressed willingness to provide technical support in facilitating conclusion of such agreements.

On the issue of formalisation of labour market, member nations discussed various initiatives taken by them towards formalisation of jobs and how Covid-19 has enhanced informalisation risk.

On participation of women in the labour force, the member countries resolved to promote participation of women in remunerative, productive and decent work and to extend social security cover to the women workers engaged in informal sector. Impact of Covid-19 on participation of women in labour force was also discussed.

On the issue of Gig and platform workers and their role in labour market, the member nations discussed how the proliferation of Digital Labour Platforms is transforming the labour processes in the world of work. Challenges faced by them and various measures being taken by member nations including extension of social protection system were also discussed.

The discussion took place in an extremely candid atmosphere and in seamless manner, where the member nations and international organisations shared not only their initiatives and best practices, but also their concerns and challenges.

The Indian delegations were represented by Special Secretary Anuradha Prasad, Joint Secretary R.K Gupta, Joint Secretaries Ajay Tewari and Kalpana Rajsinghot, and Director Rupesh Kumar Thakur, from the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

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