BRICS hold talks on social security pacts – Community News
Social Security

BRICS hold talks on social security pacts

A labor conference between the five BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has brought New Delhi closer to signing social security agreements with the other member states, the Union government said.

A Social Security Agreement offers the benefits of detachment, totalization and transferability. Posting exempts international workers from making contributions in the host country and totalization allows the service rendered abroad to count towards benefits in the home country, while portability allows benefits in both countries.

“We had a detailed and satisfying discussion about a Social Security Agreement and the benefits it will bring to workers and employers. We are getting closer to agreements. Partner countries are ready to continue negotiations,” said Labor and Employment Secretary Apurva Chandra.

“We will have a few more negotiations, perhaps at the individual country level, before moving forward,” said Chandra, who chaired a meeting with representatives from BRICS and International Labor Organization (ILO) officials.

Such agreements will help to reduce double social security contributions, enable portability of pensions and lead to a reduction in personnel costs for companies operating in each other’s countries.

The Union cabinet had approved a plan in December 2019 to sign a bilateral agreement on social security with Brazil. India has social security agreements with at least 19 countries, including Germany, Japan and Australia, and the Union Ministry of Labor has been in talks with its BRICS counterparts since 2016.

“As trade and investment between BRICS countries grow, there is an increasing flow of citizens working for their companies in other countries… The companies often make double contributions in the absence of secondment provisions that affect competitiveness and increase staff costs,” said another government official who does not wish to be named.

The Social Security Labor Code that has merged the different laws will make it easier to implement such agreements, provided the other country is also willing to do so, the official said.

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