Over 60 lakh more employees will get mandatory retirement benefits under the amendments proposed by the labour ministry in the EPFO Act that seek to bring more firms under its ambit. The ministry has proposed that all firms employing 10 or more workers will have to register with the EPFO and contribute towards the EPF schemes. At present, only those firms that employ 20 or more workers are covered under the Act.
The labour ministry has proposed a slew of other reforms like bringing all categories of establishment in The Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendmend) Bill, 2015. The proposals are to be soon put before the Cabinet for its approval before taking it up in Parliament for passage.
As much as 182 caetgories of establishments in which 20 or more people are employed are covered under the present Act. Aimed at providing the benefit of the scheme to more people, the government proposes to make the Act applicable to all establishments in which 10 or more persons are employed.
A senior labour ministry official said the move would bring at least 4 lakh more establishments under the ambit of the amended Act and taking an average of 15 persons employed in those firms, the benefit would reach to 60 lakh people.
“The definition of the employee has also been broadened to include all types of workers, including contractor workers and apprentices. Apprentices engaged by an establishment are entitled to compensation under the Apprentices Act in case of an accident; therefore, they are proposed to be included for benefits in EPF Act,” it said.
As per the existing Act, an employee is defined any person who is employed for wages in any kind of work, manual or otherwise, in or in connection with the work of an establishment and who gets his wages directly or indirectly from the employer.