Social Security Concept and Scope

15/09/2022 0 By indiafreenotes

In every country, the composition of population varies from one to other country to some extent. The features of the population also vary. For comparative study the factors such as – age, sex, education, health, income, employment, social and employment risks, size of family, family and social systems, etc. The position of population in developed country is better than developing country and is poor in underdeveloped country.

In developed countries the people get education, medical, pension, provident fund facility, accident benefits, maternity benefits, survivor benefits, death benefits, support in case of natural calamities, retirement benefits, unemployment allowances, disablement benefits, etc.

In developing countries some of the benefits are not provided wherein underdeveloped countries these are not provided or very less provided. In their social set up the population is not secured properly. It creates worries for individuals, families, societies and the nation. There is need to support the downtrodden persons for at least their better survival and development of the economy and nation as a whole.

Social security is a very wide concept to define and it is difficult also. Social security means the efforts related to protect and support the sufferers against the impacts of different types of unwanted activities due to that the life of persons is under risk. These are called social risks and include retirement, sickness, disability, old age, survivor, death of earning members, maternity, unemployment, etc.

Social security administration stated that, “social security to programmes established by government statutes which insure individuals against interruption or loss of earning power, and for certain special expenditures arising from marriage, birth, or death”.

“Social security means that government, which is the symbol and representative of society is responsible for fixing a minimum standard of living for all its citizens.” G.H.D. Cole.

“Social security is an instrument for social transformation and progress and must be preserved, supported and developed as such. Furthermore, far from being an obstacle to economic progress, as is all too often said, social security organized on a firm and sound basis will promote such progress, since once men and women benefit from increases security and are free from anxiety for tomorrow, they will naturally become more productive.” (Preface to “Into the 21st Century – the Development of Social Security”).

United Nations General Assembly adopted in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that, “every member of a society has a right to social security”. As Mr. Francis Blanchard, Director

Objectives of Social Security:

  1. Compensation
  2. Restoration
  3. Prevention


Compensation ensures security of income. It is based on this consideration that during the period of contingency of risks, the individual and his/her family should not be subjected to a double calamity, i.e., destitution and loss of health, limb, life or work.


It connotates cure of one’s sickness, reemployment so as to restore him/her to earlier condition. In a sense, it is an extension of compensation.


These measures imply to avoid the loss of productive capacity due to sickness, unemployment or invalidity to earn income. In other words, these measures are designed with an objective to increase the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the community by rendering available resources which are used up by avoidable disease and idleness.


The term ‘social security’ is all embracing. The scope of social security is, therefore, very wide. It covers the aspects relating to social and economic justice.

All social security schemes furnished by the government are broadly classified into two types:

(i) Social Assistance, and

(ii) Social Insurance.

According to the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention (No. 102) adopted by the ILO in 1952, the following are the nine components of social security that configure its scope:

(i) Medical care,

(ii) Sickness benefit,

(iii) Unemployment benefit.

(iv) Old age benefit,

(v) Employment injury benefit,

(vi) Family benefit,

(vii) Maternity benefit,

(viii) Invalidity benefit, and

(ix) Survivor’s benefit

Need for Social Security:

One moot question to be answered is why there is a need for social security especially in India. As has already been mentioned, the underlying philosophy of social security is to ensure a minimum level of material living to the needy or helpless ones of the society by the State.

Our accumulated experience reveals that in an industrial economy, the workers have been subjected to periodic unemployment due to cyclical fluctuations in business, sickness, industrial accidents and old age. In fact, there is nothing more disconcerting to worker and his/her family than unemployment.


Over a long period of nearly a century, many experts, organisations, and dictionaries have given the definitions and meanings of concept of social security. These have been affected with the situation at the time of definitions given. They have focused on different aspects of life of a person relating to his social security.

(a) Social security programme is for the persons living in the society and working.

(b) It is for the needy persons as retired, unemployed, old, and disabled.

(c) The interest of social security to facilitate needy persons for at least normal life living.

(d) It is to offset the impacts of hardship due to social risks such as – sickness, old age, retirement, disability and unemployment.

(e) Contributes in improving the standard of living of the ignored people from the society.

(f) This programme is necessary for national development and happiness.

(g) The major roles played in providing the facilities are governments, NGOs, trusts, and volunteers.

(h) Governments enacted certain laws regarding benefits provided by them and these are known as social security legislations.

(i) The evolution of concept of social security and social security legislation has taken a long time to reach to the current position.

(j) The facilities provided and social security legislations are not same across the world.

(k) Many benefits are provided under social security to the workers and may include pension, gratuity, maternity, provident fund, sickness benefits, disablement benefits, funeral benefits, welfare facilities, etc.

(l) People prefer to join the jobs where social security measures are provided and well implemented.