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Burma’s workers are losing out on social benefits because they are not aware of their privileges, according to a labour official.
In a Wednesday briefing with the Rangoon regional parliament, Zaw Aye Maung of the Social Security Board under the Ministry of Labour, explained what the ministry is doing to increase both benefits and general rights awareness.
The official said that 21 clinics were established in the region, and that workers covered under the Social Welfare Law can be reimbursed for medical expenses if they visit the facilities.
“Workers were given smart-cards at their respective factories and premises,” he said. “They have the right to go to the clinic and seek treatment.”
Zaw Aye Maung also said that life insurance is now available for workers. Under the policy, the family of an employee who dies after less than 60 months of work will receive 30 times the basic salary. If the employee has worked between 60 and 120 months, compensation will be 50 times basic salary. Those who worked 120 to 240 months will receive 60 times, and 80 times the salary for any longer tenure.
The Social Welfare Department has dispersed 68 million kyat (US$68,000) since the start of the year, he said.
The official explained during the session, which was open for questions by lawmakers, that while benefits are increasing, awareness remains low and many workers are not redeeming their full privileges.