Adjustments to social welfare policies needed to not leave anyone behind: Experts

Although current social welfare policies have proved to be helpful for laborers in overcoming difficulties posed by COVID-19, experts held that further adjustments are needed to ensure that no disadvantaged persons in society are left behind.

Many workers in the informal sector have been seriously affected by COVID-19. (Photo: VNA)

Statistics from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs showed that 28.2 million people across the country have been affected by COVID-19, including 4.7 people losing jobs, accounting for 16.5 percent.

To help address the impacts from COVID-19 on social security, the National Assembly and Government have rolled out various solutions, one of which is the Government’s Resolution 68, which stipulates the provision of aid in cash to labourers who have their labour contract suspended or have to take unpaid leave.

According to the ministry, as of November 8, 10.4 million labourers had benefited from the policies, with total assistance reaching over 24.62 trillion VND (1.07 billion USD) out of the 30 trillion VND support package.

Many experts affirmed that the largest-ever direct support package in cash for labourers has helped them survive the toughest time due to COVID-19.

However, Associated Prof. Dr. Pham Hong Chuong, Rector of the National Economic University was of the opinion that the conditions to be eligible for support remain complicated, making it difficult for labourers to provide all necessary documents.

Freelancers and migrant workers, who make up a large proportion in the labour market, have faced difficulties in accessing the support, he added.

Chuong proposed that the Government should consider the increase of the support level for labourers who lose jobs due to prolonged social distancing measures. At the same time, it is necessary to continue assisting poor households and those who live near the poverty line as well as disadvantaged groups such as the elderly, the disabled and children, he stressed. Particularly, greater attention should be given to children who lost their parent(s) due to COVID-19, as they are the worst affected group both materially and mentally, he added.

Additionally, he suggested improving physical and mental health care services for labourers. It is crucial to strengthen health consultations and care at home for people facing a high risk of or suffering from COVID-19 by expanding the family doctor network in a more effective manner, he underscored.

(en.tgvn.com.vn)