A total of 1.26 million new subscribers joined various social security schemes run by Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) in April this year, similar to the monthly average of new subscribers joined in 2019-20, the year that preceded the pandemic.
ESIC is applicable to all factories and other establishments employing 10 or more persons earning up to Rs 21,000 a month. The ESI Act 1948, which governs the corporation, does not apply to the unorganised sector now. In the contributory scheme, the employer contributes 3.25% and the employee 0.75% of the wages towards the scheme.
On an average, 1.24 million people newly registered with the ESIC scheme in a month in 2018-19, which went up to 1.26 million in 2019-20, but fell to a monthly average of 960,000 in 2020-21 when the pandemic hit on the country hard. There were some improvements in the monthly average of new registrations in 2021-22 at 1.24 million, despite the second wave.
Since April 2018, the ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MoSPI) has been bringing out the employment-related statistics in the formal sector covering the period September 2017 onwards, using information on the number of subscribers under major schemes including ESIC and the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
A little over 920,000 new subscribers joined the social security schemes run by the EPFO in April.
Between September 2017 and April 2022, a total of 66 million new subscribers have joined the ESI scheme. During the same period, nearly 54 million new subscribers joined EPFO.