Foreign workers obliged to join social security system
The Jakarta Post
Foreign employees who have been working for a minimum of six months in Indonesia should register with the country's social security program.
'As an implication of the ASEAN Economic Community, all foreign workers with a minimum working period of six months are obliged to be members of our social security program,' CEO of Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) Elvyn G. Masassya said on Wednesday.
As the member of the ASEAN Social Security Association (ASSA), Indonesia is still discussing the implementation of the social security program for workers in the region.
'We are discussing with fellow members of ASSA the implementation of what we call 'benefit transfer.' This means that foreign workers employed in Indonesia would be covered with our social security system, and Indonesian workers will be covered by similar programs in ASEAN countries where they work,' he said on the sidelines of the International Seminar on Social Security Reform.
The issue would be further discussed in a government-to-government scheme, added Elvyn, who is a former chairman of ASSA.
Errol Frank Stoove, President of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) praised the country's efforts in successfully reforming its workers' social security program.
He also shared some examples of social security systems in other Asia Pacific countries, from which he claimed Indonesia could learn.
In his keynote speech, he said that social security systems should be able to cope with the challenges ahead, including what he called 'employment megatrends'. These megatrends included changing labor market trends, climate change and natural-resource scarcity, demographic development, as well as societal and family changes.
'To be able to effectively manage and deliver service and benefits, social security institutions and policy makers need to be able to anticipate future changes. We will assist members to prepare for the future and analyze the likely evolution of these megatrends,' he said.
BPJS Ketenagakerjaan has put four social security programs into full operation in terms of administration, human resources, infrastructure and policies, since it was officially launched by President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo on July 1 this year.
Under the 2004 National Social Security Program Law and the 2011 Social Security Provider Law, BPJS Ketenagakerjaan is entrusted with running the occupational accident program, old-age risk program, pension program and death insurance program for workers.
Until now, the program has around 17 million workers (as active members), which accounts for 42 percent of the 40 million formal workers in Indonesia. The membership system is applied using a single identity number with a 'smart card'.
By 2018, the program is expected to cover 80 percent of the total formal workers and 5 percent of informal workers.
Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri said the number of workers covered by the social security program could potentially reach 112 million, almost half of the country's total population of 250 million, arguably the largest coverage of such a program in the world.
He acknowledged that covering the large number of workers in the informal sector, which is estimated to reach around 70 million, remained a huge challenge.
Although the informal sector undoubtedly plays a significant role in developing the country's economy ' primarily by reducing unemployment, workers in the sector remain vulnerable because of a lack of protection.
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