Social security systems are increasingly interconnected – across different agencies within the sector, with organizations in other sectors and with systems in other countries. Furthermore, in complex environments, even within the same institution, different organizational units are becoming progressively specialized, autonomous, or geographically focused. As a result, the strategic and operational activities in which social security institutions are engaged often require the involvement and coordination of multiple actors working at different levels to achieve effective results.
Digital technologies are fundamentally transforming how public services are designed and delivered. This article zooms in on the implementation of digital inclusion strategies among European ISSA member institutions.
The COVID-19 pandemic and rapid change of working environments are challenging for social security and for the occupational health and safety community worldwide. The global discussion on how to achieve resilient social security coverage for all and zero injuries, zero diseases and zero deaths at work covers many work-related aspects. This includes the digital transformation of work, the use of new technologies for prevention, social dialogue, mental health protection, and the promotion of a global prevention culture.
Rehabilitation is a core issue for individuals and social security. Having already been brought to the forefront in the context of ageing societies, the COVID-19 pandemic has further accentuated the important role of rehabilitation, as many coronavirus patients require help to get back to a normal life and work. Rehabilitation programmes that are based on a holistic approach combining care, return-to-work and social benefits, whilst improving cooperation between different actors, have emerged as most promising to effectively meet increasing rehabilitation needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of safety, health and well-being, and the role that social security institutions play to support their beneficiaries in navigating through the pandemic. By promoting a prevention culture, governments, workers, employers and social security institutions contribute to building a safer, healthier and more productive working environment. A healthy workforce also contributes to the sustainability of social security systems.
Originally aimed at safeguarding the value of financial assets and ensuring the financial viability and long-term sustainability of pension schemes, investing social security reserve funds has surged to become a core business process in social security administration. At the onset, investment decisions were informed essentially by the investors’ quest for capital and guided by the fundamental principles of safety, liquidity and yields with a predominant focus on financial instruments and/or financial markets (Cichon et al. 2004).
Worldwide almost 2.4 million people die due to an occupational disease, compared to 0.38 million that die because of a work accident. Insurance covering occupational diseases is an important pillar of social security and a safety net to all workers who may be exposed to chemical, physical or biological agents arising from work activities, or may suffer from respiratory and skin diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders or occupational cancer.