Global Programme Employment Injury Insurance and Protection (ENTERPRISES)

Most of the populations in the ECOWAS countries have no access to basic social protection. In light of this, the project aims to assist both ECOWAS and the four countries covered by CO Abuja to develop nationally defined sets of basic social security guarantees for social protection floors, and social services for all.

Most of the populations in the ECOWAS countries have no access to basic social protection. There is an imperative need for the Abuja office to assist both ECOWAS and the four countries covered by CO Abuja to develop nationally defined sets of basic social security guarantees for social protection floors, which will aim at ensuring basic income security and access to essential health care and other social services for all. These will contribute to securing protection aimed at preventing or alleviating poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion, and allowing a life in dignity.

Countries are encouraged to define and adopt measures for social protection floor guarantees which may be achieved through a variety of means, including contributory or non-contributory social transfers. These can include old-age pensions, disability benefits, child benefits, income support benefits and/or employment guarantees and services for the unemployed and working poor, as well as access to essential health care. National social protection floors facilitate access to essential social services, including health, water and sanitation, education, food security, housing, and other areas defined according to national priorities.

The Recommendation on Social Security is aimed at providing guidelines for countries to support covering the unprotected, the poor and the most vulnerable, including workers in the informal economy and their families. This is to ensure all members of society enjoy at least a basic level of social security throughout their lives. Under the supervision of the CO Director, the Associate Expert/JPO will be expected to work in close liaison with the Department of Social Security in Geneva and the Decent Work Team in Dakar to design country specific programmes and identify donors that are key financiers and supporters for Social protection and social security. The EU for example is keen to support Social protection schemes in the ECOWAS Region, the AE should, under the guidance and support of the Director, be able to assist the ILO tap into the EU resources both for member states as well as for regional social protection initiatives.The work of the ILO on social security employment injury insurance is guided by Convention 121 on Employment Injury Benefits and other relevant OSH and other employment benefit instruments.

The ILO established in late 2016 a dedicated Global Employment Injury Programme (GEIP) focussing on developing employment injury insurance and protection systems and to assist the resolution of industrial accident cases at the workplace level when litigation arises to protect the rights of victims. GEIP promotes better conditions in the world of work through adequate, sustainable and affordable employment injury benefits along occupational prevention and safety. GEIP is a key partner to ILO programmes on OSH prevention, labour inspection and enterprise development, namely in support of industrialization plans. GEIP is engaged both at the policy and practical implementation levels with enterprises by engaging and liaising key business actors with employment injury insurance providers to develop and improve tools and services so workers receive benefit compensation and quality health services in a timely manner and businesses can count on efficient business processes to register and comply with the payment of their dues.

GEIP follows recent tragedies such as the Rana Plaza collapse in the garments sector in Bangladesh in April 2013, and other significant workplace tragedies in Bangladesh and Pakistan garments and related sectors, the international focus on working conditions in developing countries where labour costs are recognized to be low has led to rising attention on the responsibility for ensuring workers are duly protected not only through prevention at the work place but also that they are covered under employment injury and social insurance and employee benefits in case of work injuries. Indeed, the coverage of all workers in case of work injury is one of the sub-indicators of the sustainable development goals 1.3 and 8.7 relating to the coverage and reporting of work accidents.

Outline of planned developments concerning the programme/project include:
• Consultations at ECOWAS and four country levels (Significant progress has already been made in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia in articulating priority areas of work with Social Protection).
• Scoping of country needs and existing social protection schemes to determine type of Social protection schemes to be defined at country level
• Scoping of donor funding in the four countries
• Assisting countries in defining/designing country specific schemes with potential for funding (linked to donor mapping and willingness to participate in the schemes).

The project will initially run for one year with the possibility to extend up to a maximum total of three years.