The Centre has decided to bring all casual and contractual workers working in municipal bodies beneath the social safety schemes run by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
“The ESI Corporation has been directed to take up the matter with the states/ UTs, being the appropriate government(s) under the ESI Act, for the issue of notification for coverage of casual and contractual workers in the municipal corporation(s)/ council(s) in their respective jurisdictions,” an official statement quoting labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar mentioned.
The statement mentioned that for the National Capital Region of Delhi, the Central Government being the acceptable government beneath the ESI Act, the labour ministry has currently issued such ‘intention’ notification on June 7.
Gangwar mentioned that ESI coverage of casual and contractual workers working with municipal bodies shall go a extended way in supplying social safety cover to a extremely vulnerable segment of the workforce. This shall contribute to the social upliftment of this segment of the workforce and their households.
Once notifications on this are issued by states, the casual and contractual workers working with municipal bodies will be in a position to avail the complete gamut of advantages readily available beneath the ESI Act such as sickness advantage, maternity advantage, disablement advantage, dependent’s advantage, funeral costs and so forth. These workers will be eligible to avail of healthcare services by way of ESI’s 160 hospitals and more than 1,500 dispensaries spread more than the nation.
The ESI scheme is at present applicable to non-seasonal, manufacturing establishments employing 10 or more workers. For well being and healthcare institutions, the threshold limit is 20 or more workers. In the contributory scheme, an employer desires to spend 3.25% of the month-to-month wages paid to an employee when the employee needs to spend .75% of the wages.
Under the social safety code, passed in Parliament last year, the government has proposed to bring gig and platform workers beneath ESI. Option for becoming a member of ESIC has also been offered to establishments with much less than 10 workers beneath the social safety code.