Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 10
Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar on Thursday announced the decision to extend coverage under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 (ESI Act) to all casual and contractual staff working in the municipal bodies in the country.
The ESI Corporation has been directed to take up the matter with the States/ UTs as they are the appropriate authorities under the Act, for issue of notification in the matter.
For National Capital Region of Delhi, the Union government being the appropriate government, the Labour Ministry of Labour issued intention notification last Monday for coverage under the Act of casual and contractual employees working with Municipal Corporations/Council in the NCT of Delhi.
Under the proposed new dispensation, the coverage shall be extended to those casual and contractual employees/ agencies/ establishments which are within the implemented areas already notified under the Act by the Union government.
Various municipal bodies in different States and Union Territories in the country employ a large number of casual and contractual workers.
“However, not being regular employees of the Municipal Corporations/Municipal councils, these workers remain out of the social security net making them a vulnerable lot,” Gangwar said.
“The ESI coverage of casual and contractual employees working with municipal bodies shall go a long way in providing social security cover to a very vulnerable segment of the workforce.”
This shall contribute to social upliftment of this segment of workforce and their families.
On implementation of the new measure, the casual and contractual workers working with municipal bodies will be able to avail the full gamut of benefits available under the law. They include sickness benefit, maternity benefit, disablement benefit, dependent’s benefit, funeral expenses.
Also, these workers will be eligible to avail medical services through a network of ESI facilities which include 160 hospitals and over 1500 dispensaries all over the country.
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