Code on Social Security, 2019
The Code of Security Bill, 2019 was up for debate in the Lok Sabha in December 2019. This is the fourth labor law code to be approved by the cabinet.
What is the purpose of this bill?
There are two main goals that this bill aims to fulfill. Firstly, it wants to combine a number of existing laws and to introduce new initiatives such as universal social security for workers within the unorganized sector as well as insurance and health benefits for contractual workers. It also wants to corporatize of existing organizations like the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation and the Employees’ State Insurance to be chaired by independent persons and not the labor minister.
What are some of the key features of this code?
Laws like the Employees’ Compensation Act of 1923, Employees‘ State Insurance Act of 1948, Employees‘ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act of 1952, and Maternity Benefit Act of 1961 are few of the acts being amalgamated under this code. It will also establish a social security fund. This fund will use the corporate social responsibility fund to provide those who are working in the unorganized sector with medical, pension, death and disability benefits. This will be executed by the employee’s state insurance corporation. The code also empowers the central government to exempt handpicked enterprises from all or any of the provisions of the code. It also makes Aadhaar obligatory to avail benefits under various social and security schemes. The Central Government is empowered to form and publish welfare schemes for unorganized workers now and then. This may include matters of life, disability and health insurance, maternity benefit, old age protection and other benefits as seen appropriate by the government. The code also proposes to offer gratuity to contractual employees after a year of service in contrast with to the current practice of five years.
This is a welcome step towards empowering workers all over India to claim benefits that are crucial to living. The government pushing forward with labor changes will allow them to live with just a little more dignity.
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