Social Security Current Affairs - 2020

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Social Security Code Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

On December 11, 2019, the social security code bill was introduced in Lok Sabha. The bill paves way for universalization of social security of 50 crore workers in the country.

Key Features of the bill

The bill proposes setting up of a social security fund to fulfill benefits such as medical cover, pension, death and disablement benefits including gig workers. This will help to tap the corporate social responsibility fund and divert it towards the unorganized sector.

The bill will provide options of reducing the provident fund contribution of the employees. It is currently 12% of basic salary. This will increase their take-home payment.

The bill also makes the fixed-term contract workers eligible for gratuity. Currently under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, workers are not entitled to gratuity before the completion of 5 years.

The bill is completely based on the Drafts Security Code.

The bill intends to merge 8 laws and to support the unorganized workers as that mentioned in the code.

Need for the bill

India leads in global gig economy contributing 24% of online labor market in the world! The data was provided by the Oxford Internet Institute. Apart from internet, being the second most populous country in the world, India has maximum number of unorganized employees.

 

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Facts Box: Drafts Security Code

The Union Government recently circulated the Draft Security Code that integrates existing labor laws and provides new initiatives to provide social security to workers of unorganized sector, insurance and helath benefits to gig workers. It includes drivers of private vehicle hiring services as well. The code also aims at corporatization of organizations like ESIC And EPFO.

Key Features of the Code

Insurance, life cover, PF for unorganized sector employees

  • According to the code, the Central Government shall formulate welfare schemes for the workers of unorganized sector from time to time on matters relating to life, disability, maternal benefits, health, old age protection.
  • While framing schemes the government will look out for key initiative relating to the workers’ housing, educational scheme for their children, funeral assistance, old age assistance, etc

Corporatization of ESIC and EPFO

The world body for the EPFO And ESIC related world bodies have been added in the scheme. This will bring an end to the autonomous body status of organizations that are responsible for pension, retirement and insurance. It aims to make the EPFO a more structured national body.

Gig Worker

The Gig workers will get insurance, health and maternal benefits under the security code.

Maternal Benefits

Every woman worker under the act will be entitled to payment of maternity benefit. The payment is to be at the rate of average daily wage for the period of her actual absence.

Merging existing labor laws

The Code on Social Security will merge the following laws

  • Employees Compensation Act, 1923
  • Employees Insurance Act, 1948
  • Maternal Benefit Act, 1961
  • Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952
  • Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981
  • Unorganized Workers’ Social Security act, 2008

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