India has signed Social Security Agreements (SSAs) with Belgium, France, Germany (social insurance for posted workers only), Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Hungary, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Republic of Korea, Norway, Germany, Finland, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Austria and Portugal. Such Agreements protect the interests of Indian professionals by providing following benefits:
(i) exemption from social security contribution for ˜posted™ (detached) workers (provided the worker is covered under the Indian social security system and continues to pay his contribution to the Indian system during the period of contract).
(ii) exportability of social security benefits in case of relocation to India or any other country after having made the due social security contribution.
(iii) totalization of the periods of contribution pertaining to both countries for the purpose of assessing eligibility for the benefit/pension under the legislation of each country.
Bilateral labour Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) have also been signed with United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia and Bahrain for ensuring protection and welfare of overseas Indian workers.
The salient features of such MoUs are :
(i) Declaration of mutual intent to enhance employment opportunities and for bilateral cooperation in protection and welfare of workers.
(ii) The host country to take measures for protection and welfare of the workers in organized sector.
(iii) Statement of the broad procedure that the foreign employer shall follow to recruit Indian Workers.
(iv) The recruitment and terms of employment to be in conformity with the laws of both the countries.
A Joint Working Group (JWG) is also constituted to ensure implementation of the MoU and to meet regularly to find solutions to bilateral labour problems.