Multilateral social security framework
The representatives of BRICS nations have expressed willingness to have a multilateral social security framework in order to safeguard workers' rights. The Social Security Agreement will help the international workers to port their benefit to their home countries thereby preventing loss of their hard earned money. Further they are exempted from contributing (towards social security schemes) both in home as well as host countries.
- The multilateral social security framework would help international workers to avoid double contributions in a cluster of such nations.
- The views were expressed by member nations' representatives at the first BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) meeting held on May 11 and 12, 2021 at New Delhi in a virtual format. India Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra, chaired the meeting. India has assumed the BRICS Presidency this year.
- The prime agenda for the discussions were Promoting Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS nations, formalization of labour markets, participation of women in the labour force and Gig and Platform workers' role in the labour market.
- Apart from representatives of member nations, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the representatives of International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Social Security Agency (ISSA) also made valuable interventions and suggestions on the agenda issues.
On the Issue of SSA
- On the issue of Social Security Agreement (SSA), the member nations resolved to enter into dialogue and discussion with each other and take it forward towards signing of the agreements, while the ISSA and ILO on their part, expressed willingness to provide technical support in facilitating conclusion of such agreements.
- The member nations also converged on devising a multilateral framework for the same (social security agreement) at a later stage.
- The member nations also discussed various initiatives taken by them towards formalization of jobs and how COVID-19 has enhanced informalization risk.
- 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 the informal sector. The impact of COVID-19 on participation of women in the labour force was also discussed.
On the issue of Gig and Platform workers
- On the issue of Gig and Platform workers and their role in the 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.