Gov’t, Acleda Develop Injury Insurance Plan

A National Social Security Fund, re­­cently established by the government, has formed a partnership with Acleda Bank Plc to implement a new program aimed at compensating workers injured on the job, of­ficials said Wednesday.

The NSSF, established last year by a subdecree created to provide pensions and disability payments to private-sector workers, will begin an occupational risk program by the end of the month, said Ouk Sam­vuthyea, the Labor Ministry’s di­rector of the NSSF.

“The launch of the NSSF will provide a safety net for the less fortunate members of society who fall vic­tim to workplace accidents, while the use of the banking system to ad­minister public-sector programs such as this…will ensure transpar­ency and accountability,” Acleda Pre­sident and CEO In Channy said in a statement released Wednesday.

Ouk Samvuthyea said by telephone that employers will contri­bute funds to the program through an NSSF account at Acleda. He de­clined to provide further details on the arrangement but did say Acleda was selected as a government partner for the program without a bidding process.

Acleda was chosen, he added, be­cause it has many branches, even in remote areas.

Private-sector employers and pro­prietors of enterprises or institutions will be required to pay 0.8 percent of each employee’s total gross salary to cover workplace-related accidents or illnesses, including ac­cidents that occur during an em­ploy­ee’s commute to or from work, Prom Visoth, senior vice president of Acleda Bank, said by telephone.

“The employees will not pay…it will be based on the salary,” Ouk Samvuthyea said, adding that the policy will target institutions that employ eight or more people.

Employers must register with the NSSF, which was put together earlier this year by the Ministry of Labor and is controlled by a nine-member council board. “If they don’t [register], we will take legal measures,” Ouk Samvuthyea said.

“Contribution for accident at the work is the first phase,” Ouk Sam­vuthyea said, adding that the NSSF plans to implement a health care policy in 2010.

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