Social Security Scheme Current Affairs - 2020

Enrolments in ESIC Social Security Scheme increases to 821,000

On May 23, 2020, the payroll data of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) was released. The data says that around 821,000 new members have joined ESIC social security scheme.

Highlights

The data was released by National Statistical Office (NSO). According to the data the subscribers to the scheme in 2018-19 were 14.9 million and it increased to 38.3 million in March 2020.

The NSO report issues data of several social security schemes such as PFRDA, EPFO. This is being done since 2018 covering the period 2017-18.

ESIC

The Employment State Insurance Scheme was launched in 1952 under the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948. The act was the first legislative social security step for workers in India.

The scheme was designed to help employees fight against their sickness, disablement, maternity and death due to employment.

Recent Developments in the Scheme

In June 2020, the Government of India reduced the rate of contribution under the scheme. The employer contribution was reduced from 4.75% to 3.25% and Employee contribution was reduced from 1.75% to 0.75%. Also, the employees that are earning Rs 137 or less per day are exempted from payment of their contribution.

Recently, to meet the salary bills of the workers during COVID-19 lock down period, the Government of India ruled to appropriate funds of ESIC

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