Establishing a Social Security System for Private Sector Workers

The ILO is supporting efforts by government, workers and employers in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) to reform labour laws and enhance social dialogue.

An elderly Palestinian woman loads wheat for processing in the West Bank

The social protection system and the policy regulating it in the oPt remains scattered and falls short of providing effective income security and access to health care for all Palestinians. Some social insurance schemes for workers in formal employment do exist but they cover few social security contingencies and are mainly present in the public sector. While the oPt retirement law provides the legal basis for old-age insurance among public and private sector employees, the law applies only to the public sector. Neither employment injury and healthcare benefits, nor unemployment and maternity insurance have been implemented. The oPt also lacks a functional tripartite social security institution which can administer and deliver social insurance benefits to insured workers and their households.

Within this context, this ILO project builds on a series of consultations with tripartite constituents and the oPt’s National Development Plan focus effort on supporting the oPt to promote the establishment of a social security sector strategy and the progressive establishment of a comprehensive social insurance system for workers. Specifically, the project will work to strengthen the knowledge and capacity of tripartite constituents to develop and implement comprehensive social security policies based on social dialogue, international social security standards and global best practices.


  • Establish a social security law in the oPt based on ILO standards which is endorsed by the Palestinian Cabinet.


  • Implement four tailor-made tripartite capacity building workshops in the oPt on social security principles, policies, administration and financing;
  • prepare an actuarial studies on the implementation of a pension scheme for private sector workers, covering old age, disability and survivors’ benefits as well as a study on the establishment of a maternity insurance scheme and an employment injury scheme for private sector workers;
  • prepare a study to identify the means of administering a national social security system;
  • assist in the drafting of the legal framework for a proposed social security system and its administration based on tripartite consultations; and
  • carry out awareness raising workshops with tripartite constituents on the envisaged social security system.


  • Strengthen the capacity of tripartite constituents in social security policy making and implementation to allow them to draft a framework for the Social Security strategy;
  • strengthen the know-how of tripartite constituents to allow them to independently design social security benefits schemes;
  • srengthen the institutional capacity of a tripartite social security administrations; and
  • develop a legal framework for a proposed social security system in line with ILO standards.