By Omar Obeidat
AMMAN –– The Social Security Corporation (SSC) has included around 20,000 workers from small-sized businesses in Amman and Zarqa under its umbrella over the past two months.
On May 1, the SSC launched the last phase of its national expansion project to include employees of small businesses in the two cities as its subscribers.
The expansion campaign is targeting 97,000 establishments in the capital and 25,000 in Zarqa.
According to SSC Spokesperson Musa Subeihi, 8,634 entities had subscribed to benefit from the corporation’s services by the end of June: 7,370 in the capital and 1,264 in Zarqa.
At a meeting with media representatives on Tuesday, Subeihi said owners of 37 per cent of the newly subscribed small businesses employing fewer than five workers, or 3,233 employers, volunteered to register their staff in the SSC.
The expansion project, launched in 2009, will have a positive impact on the Kingdom’s economy by providing more employment opportunities, as job seekers will be encouraged to join small businesses that offer social security benefits, he said.
The SSC spokesperson indicated that the number of active insured persons at the SCC reached 940,000 at the end of June; 819,000 of them are Jordanians, while foreigners constitute 12 per cent of the overall number, or 120,000 subscribers.
Subeihi noted that 63 per cent of working Jordanians are insured by the SSC, adding that the number of pensioners stands at 132,000, the majority of them men, with only 17,000 women receiving pension.
In a bid to boost women’s participation in the labour market and reduce unemployment, the corporation will launch two new services by the beginning of September, according to the SSC spokesperson.
He revealed that maternity insurance will be implemented to encourage the private sector to hire women, as employers refrain from recruiting female workers due to the long maternity leave of over two months.
Indicating that around 87 per cent of insured female employees in the private sector will benefit from the system, Subeihi explained that the SSC will pay the salaries of women during their 70-day maternity leave.
According to a study conducted by the SSC, income generated by women contributes to raising household incomes by 16 per cent.
Noting that women’s participation in the local economy is around 14 per cent, as opposed to 20 per cent average participation in Arab countries, the SSC official added that 232,000 of the 819,000 Jordanian subscribers are women.
The SSC will also introduce unemployment insurance, under which the corporation will provide the insured with a source of income to cover basic living expenses for a period ranging between one and six months, he noted, elaborating that the move aims at enabling the unemployed to find suitable work opportunities.
Those eligible to benefit from unemployment insurance are workers who lose their jobs in a certain workplace and should be looking for another suitable employment opportunity, according to Subeihi.