Social Securities Insurance:The guarantee for stability of familyliving conditions, but? [Archives:2004/741/Community]

May 27 2004

Interviewed by
Abdulrahman Al-Jaafari

Since the Law of Social Insurance is a collecting money law, it bears many flaws that would lead to loss of context in an insurance operation. The law is intended to secure living conditions for citizens when they retire or when workers encounter severe injury or are accidentally infected with serious crippling illnesses compelling them to retire early. Since the articles of the law are not providing decisive text and they could carry more than one explanations or definitions, it is negatively reflected on the liability of the law. This requires the amendment of the law. The social insurance system is in an advanced form in many countries, especially western countries, and there is nothing wrong in learning from them.
To shed more light on social insurance, Yemen Times' affiliated “Family and Development” Magazine presented the following questions to Mr. Awadh Ahmed Al-Haij, Director of Public Corporation for Social Insurance, Taiz Branch.

Q: The Social Security Law was issued several years ago. What are the standards required to implement the law, especially in economic sectors?
A: Social security is one of the primary concerns facing families and society. The social security corporation is seeking to resolve it, and to ease the consequences of security evasion because it constitutes an apparent threat to an important working segment of society: the workers in the private sector and their families. Laws have been created in order to cover all members of the society under the umbrella of social security.

Q: How could the law be implemented since many of the employers in the private sectors evade paying social security for their employees?
A: Social security evasion is a true problem facing the corporation. It must be confronted through the collective effort of all members of the society. The problem is due the lack of security awareness among the evaders. The corporation continues to exert its utmost efforts, through available capabilities, to spread and increase the level of awareness of the importance of social security among the security evaders without having to resort to legal measures against them, to the extent permitted by the law.
Workers in the private sectors are granted the right of social security under Law No. 26, 1991. The law has been implemented since its issuance. At one time, the number of registered workers at the corporation, Taiz branch was 37,000, but the current figure stands today at 15,720.
The corporation is currently implementing the law on employers with at least one or more employees. Moreover, several awareness campaign programs are carried out either through various media organizations and through published booklets on the importance of social security, combined with having an intensive plan in place to increase the number of insured workers in the private sector in social security.

Q: Will social security be implemented at retail stores, restaurants and workshops?
A: Of course, all the above-mentioned sectors and others are covered under the law. The main objective is to ensure that everyone is covered and included.

Q: What is the amount deductible from the paycheck of a worker?
A: 15% of the whole salary, 6% to be paid by the worker and the remaining 9% to be met by the employer.

Q: Are there serious measures intended to impose permanent, direct screening processes on the renegade sectors to abide by and to implement the stipulations of the law?
A: Yes, there will be a continuous monitoring operation. All major companies with large labor force are enrolled at the corporation and regular on-site inspections are performed by the corporation to check on the accuracy of submitted figures on the number of employees and wages in each company. The problem remains in the security evasion by small businesses, individual entrepreneurs, private professionals and free businessmen. In the event of encountering procrastination, the corporation refers to legal administrative procedures and other judicial pursuits against them.

Q: What are some of the corporation's achievements, in Taiz branch, during last year?
A: As I previously stated, there are now 15,720 registered members at this branch, representing 547 companies and establishments. Their dues are collected annually. The revenues for the year 2003 reached 615,238,549 Riyals. 762 retired people collect their pension checks monthly. The amount paid to retired citizens during 2003 was 38,478,606 Riyals and the sum of 19,527,153 Riyals was paid as a one-time payment to 200 insured at the branch. This is no doubt reflects that the corporation carries its responsibilities legally and ethically, irrespective of doubts cast by those evading joining the corporation.

Q: What about the retired who at the end of each month receive 500- 1000 Riyals. Where is the problem?
A: This problem of the low pension of the retired has been discussed during a broad meeting with the leaders at the corporation and families of the retired. There is a decision to be issued soon to increase their pensions to meet the high living conditions of today.