In the recent past, the government has speeded up implementation of social security policy and a number of reforms and by-laws introduced.
Maternity Insurance Law was approved in February 2016. Public and private sector employers initially provided 12 weeks of paid maternity leave to female employees as stipulated in the labor laws but the full wage package only went for the first six weeks and a 20 per cent wage replacement for the remaining weeks.
As part of the efforts to address this kind of inequality, RSSB has worked with the government, tabling a number of reforms that were reviewed by the ILO. Experts from the organization later provided several options of making the scheme compulsory with a pool fund raised from both male and female employees, employers belonging to both public and the private sector, to support women on leave duration varying from 12, 14 and 18 weeks.
RSSB involvement in addressing maternal insurance issues could not be held back any longer since it takes it important to financially support individuals towards proper health.
The law therefore grants 100 per cent of the salary package to expectant mothers during their long maternity break. The arrangement was reached after several consultations with stakeholders charged with regulating human capital including MIFOTRA.
Although the discussions had been ongoing for some time, both consultations and comparisons were weighed out against similar schemes provided in other countries in a bid to improve maternity services.
After enacting this into law, women on leave are in position to access all their salary benefits, positioning Rwanda at a better international level. Statistics reveal that most countries currently offering the scheme of maternity insurance only offer partial contributions.
Considerations have already been made concerning its affordability which means that contributors will not be under any sort of pressure. Each individual is only mandated to raise a cut of 0.3 per cent of the salary, helping the mother and the child during maternity period. The figure is small enough for almost everyone to afford but most importantly will have an effect on someone else’s life.
From 1st July, 2015, management of the Medical Insurance Scheme, Community- Based Health Insurance (CBHI) was moved from the Ministry of Health to Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB). The move was aimed at improving financial accountability and ensure quality health care for subscribers.
Universal access to medical insurance and consumption of medical services has increased in the recent past with the advent of Mutuelle de santé. This is a system in which citizens pay insurance fees to secure timely treatment in case of illness. It is meant to enable all Rwandans, even the poorest, access health services.
RSSB has carried out a number of mobilizations to enable subscribers fully appreciate the service and are benefiting from easy access to health services in the whole country; in 368 health posts, 502 health centers, 42 district hospitals and 5 referral hospitals.
Besides, subscription has been eased where members can pay through SACCOs and banks and soon mobile money transfer and e-payment will be introduced. In case a member is not satisfied with a service, they call a toll-free number 4044.
According to Actuarial valuation of 2013; financial sustainability is at 2044 for pension branch, while occupational hazards branch and Medical scheme are financially viable.
The government has also ensured that retired workers together with their families continue to benefit from their former medical insurance.
The government has continued to support the Vision Umurenge Program (VUP) and other programmes aimed at assisting the vulnerable recover from poverty so that the number of Rwandans below the poverty line (of one US dollar /day) us lowered to less than 20% of the whole Rwanda’s population.
VUP has been realigned and scaled up for both direct support and public works where 180 sectors have been benefitting from direct support and 150 sectors from public works programme. Financial services have been scaled up to 150 sectors.
The National Disability Council has been empowered and provide with the means to discharge its duties and there is continued support for the Government Fund for Assistance to the Vulnerable Survivors (FARG) in discharging its duties.
As of fiscal year 2013/2014; 24,141 students in secondary schools received school fees and scholastic materials; 15,000 students in Higher Learning Institutions receive tuition and monthly living allowances; 18,000 beneficiaries are supported with special medical treatment; 600 women who were raped during the genocide against Tutsi are given financial support for income generating projects; 43,826 houses have been constructed for genocide survivors; 800 houses for the neediest Genocide survivors have been renovated and 21,039 neediest genocide survivors including 1,560 elderly survivors/ Incike are currently supported with monthly direct support allowances.
A total of 280 cooperatives committee members of PWDS have been trained on cooperatives management, entrepreneurship and income generating projects.
All Historically marginalized people under ubudehe category 1 and 2 are supported with existing social protection safety net programme such as Girinka, VUP Direct Support, mutuelle de santé and children identified with malnutrition provided with milk, among others.
Vulnerable Students identified are supported through earmarked transfers to districts: 121 are currently in TVET, 9 in University and 142 were given start up kits for employment.
There are historically marginalized persons currently in ULK supported by the Ministry of Local Government.
The categorization process of PWDs was launched and currently the categorization testing phase is ongoing and 22,209 People with Disabilities have so far been categorized and an MoU between NCPD and prosthesis making centers is now in place. The prosthesis making centers are also supported to enhance their technical and production capacity. A national policy on disability and its strategic plan is also in place.
Cooperation between Rwanda’s Associations of People with Disabilities and their international counterparts has been promoted and the Government of Rwanda continues to support initiatives geared towards enhancing increased membership to international bodies while advocating for the welfare of people with disabilities.