Monday, March 30, 2020
Today, Monday, Forum of Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) issued a policy paper on “Means of social protection and economic support for irregular employment affected by the Corona Virus Covid-19 epidemic in Egypt.” In which it monitored the government’s dealing with irregular employment after the start of precautional measures against the spread of the Corona virus.
According to the data available to the Ministry of Manpower, the irregular employment amounts to 500,000 workers, and on that basis, 500 pounds were disbursed as an exceptional grant for irregular employment, and the statements were directed to post offices for disbursement. The Minister of Manpower appealed to the irregular workers to expedite the registration of themselves, considering that the registration of data for this category is the basis for disbursing the exceptional grant, through the ministry’s website or sending a message to the WhatsApp number: 01212201303 dedicated to registering employment data irregular.
The policy paper cautioned that a large number of poor people from irregular labor, especially paid workers such as workers in cafes and coffee shops and shoe cleaners, may not have electronic computers or modern communication devices in order to enter the site and register themselves. The Ministry of Manpower should take into account that the amount of 500 pounds is not considered effective assistance for those who receive it, in light of the burdens that have accumulated on the Egyptian citizen during the past years, due to the high prices.
FDHRD called for the rapid establishment, development and updating of a database of irregular employment registered with the directorates of manpower. It demands also to establish a fund for the protection and employment of irregular employment to provide a permanent protection umbrella and to provide the necessary funding for it, and to consider the need for the state to compensate irregular workers by paying a monthly amount not less than the minimum wage – until the end of the crisis.
FDHRD also called for the expeditious disbursement of benefits from the Workers’ Emergency Fund. In accordance with Law No. 156 of 2002 and its executive regulations, to workers whose salaries have been reduced due to work interruption to prevent the spread of the virus until the end of the period of prohibition from work and the adoption of an expansionary financial policy towards individuals similar to what several other countries have done, including the expansion of exceptional grants for irregular employment, the provision of unemployment benefits to those who lose their jobs due to the crisis, and the initiation of exceptional measures to enable new individuals from irregular employment to obtain an “Aman” document. “, which provides insurance protection for irregular employment.
It also allows benefiting from the exceptional grant that announced by the Ministry of Manpower recently, by facilitating participation through post offices, adhering to the procedures of social separation, sterilization and disinfection, making it available online in parallel, and announcing it extensively on television and radio. Unemployment benefits must also be provided to those who lose their jobs due to precautionary measures, while ensuring that workers are not laid off in case the current crisis prolongs.
The Foundation called for the necessity to stop any displacement procedures from homes for any reason until the crisis ends, and to stop issuing records of refraining from paying rent, in order to protect citizens, especially those with low incomes, as well as owners of medium, small and micro enterprises and their workers during the crisis. The current situation, especially those who do not deal with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority and are not covered by the law.
In addition, supporting the beneficiaries of social housing in paying their premiums and supporting those most vulnerable to being affected by the crisis among the owners of new rents, and concerting the efforts of civil society institutions and coordinating work between them to provide an integrated protection umbrella for groups affected by irregular employment due to the epidemic.