About 25 crore unorganised workers to be brought under social security cover in 5 years

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November 11, 2020 4:00 AM

Rules, schemes and benefits under the code are being drafted now. The labour ministry plans to notify the draft rules in the next 10-15 days and thereafter, the draft rules will be kept open for consultation for 45 days before being finalised.

Under the social security code, passed in Parliament in September, a provision for providing comprehensive social security schemes to the unorganised sector has been made.Under the social security code, passed in Parliament in September, a provision for providing comprehensive social security schemes to the unorganised sector has been made.

The government is bringing at least 25 crore unorgansied sector workers under the social security net in the next five years, as part of its plan to extend old-age pension, health insurance, disability aids and a host of other social security benefits to all sections, including gig, platform and migrant workers, under the recently-passed Social Security Code.

Only a tenth of the country’s estimated 50 crore working population now comes under some sort of social security cover.

Labour secretary Apurva Chandra said a portal is being developed by the government in which unorganised sector workers will get themselves registered on the basis of self-certification through a simple procedure using Aadhaar. All social security schemes and benefits will flow through the portal. It will also capture the skill set and other details of the unorganised sector workers, he said.

The platform will be used for registration, enrollment, identification and collection of other required data for all such workers. It will be the primary database around which all social security schemes will be structured. The portal is expected to be launched in the next 4-5 months.

“We have already placed the work order for the portal for the unorganised sector workers. Registration of unorganised sector workers, migrant workers, platform and gig workers will be an ongoing exercise. It may take five years or more to reach the 25-crore target,” Chandra said.

Under the social security code, passed in Parliament in September, a provision for providing comprehensive social security schemes to the unorganised sector has been made. The government intends to implement schemes under the social security code in phases. A social security fund will be created on the financial side in order to implement these schemes.

Rules, schemes and benefits under the code are being drafted now. The labour ministry plans to notify the draft rules in the next 10-15 days and thereafter, the draft rules will be kept open for consultation for 45 days before being finalised.

Chandra said domestic workers and even agriculture workers will also be entitled for benefits under the social security code. Schemes will specify the rate of contribution to be made by different constituents under the code.

The social security mandates the central government and the state governments to form social security schemes for home-based workers, self-employed workers, wage workers – who are employed in the unorganised sector, gig workers, who are outside the traditional employer-employee relationship, such as freelancers; and platform workers.

It also provides for voluntary coverage of establishments if the employer and the majority of employees in the relevant establishment agreed for such coverage. Under the Code, employer of an establishment covered voluntarily may make an application for opting out of such coverage. The Code has extended the gratuity entitlement to fixed term employees working for a determined period on contract as well.

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