People joining voluntary social insurance down due to COVID-19 hinh anh 1A worker completes procedures related to social insurance for residents (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - The number of people joining voluntary social insurance decreased sharply due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Vietnam Social Security (VSS).

The information was declared in an online conference with the theme “Developing volunteer social insurance in the COVID-19 pandemic”, held by the VSS and Nhan Dan (The People’s) newspaper on May 19.

In the first half of this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many enterprises had to reduce staff and conduct social distancing. As a result, many workers temporarily stopped work or ended contracts, which affected targets related to developing the number of people joining social insurance this year.

The targets this year are to have at least 300,000 more people with voluntary social insurance, raising the total number of people with social insurance to at least 800,000.

Developing the number of people with social insurance last year was considered one of best points of all activities of the social security sector. However, since the beginning of this year, the development has faced a lot of difficulties because of the pandemic.

Dinh Mai Hanh, deputy head of the Receipts Division under the VSS, said uncompleted statistics by April 30 showed that about 557,000 people had voluntary social insurance, a reduction of 16,000 compared with the end of last year, and down by 11,000 compared with March this year.

Hanh said the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the sector from developing new participants whereas old ones had to stop.

Besides, education about the insurance policies was not implemented as planned.

“Due to social distancing, we cannot work with other sector to organise conferences introducing the policies to residents,” she said.

Most people with voluntary social insurance are informal workers, they did not work during the pandemic so they stopped joining the insurance.

At present, the way to encourage people is via conference held by the Vietnam Post.

Implementing social distancing, the conference was not held as regular this year.

Tran Chi Trung, head of the Portal Financial Services under the Vietnam Post, said COVID-19 prevention and control in Vietnam had recorded significant results and socio-economic activities returned to normal.

Education for social security policies will be promoted to complete the target of having 300,000 more participants by the end of this year.

It’s scheduled that on May 23, the VSS will work with the Vietnam Post to launch a month-long campaign of education on volunteer social insurance.

The launching ceremony will be broadcast to different places in 63 provinces and cities across the country.

Hanh said: “We see that after difficulties caused by the pandemic, workers will more and more understand the importance of social, health and unemployment insurance.”/.