Labour Minister presents social security bill in Lok Sabha

#dailynews60 : Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar has introduced a Bill in Lok Sabha to amend and consolidate nine laws relating to social security of employees.

The Code on Social Security, 2019 seeks to enable the central government to fix provident fund contributions to be made by employees in different sectors and provides for payment of gratuity to fix-term employees.

It will also empower the central government to exempt certain establishments from all or any of the provisions of the proposed code.

The code makes Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits under various social security schemes.

The code also empowers the central government to frame social security schemes and to create social security funds for unorganised workers.

It also provides for compensation for employees in case of accidents while commuting from residence to place of work and vice versa.

The Code on Social Security will subsume nine Central Labour Acts namely Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923; Employees State Insurance Act, 1948, Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952; Maternity Benefit Act, 1961; Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972; Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981; Building and Other Construction Workers Cess Act, 1996 and Unorganized Workers Social Security Act, 2008 and Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act 1959.

Moving the bill, Gangwar said the code seeks to consolidate laws relating to social security of workers and subsume nine central laws.

He also told the House that the code is part of larger exercise of the government to codify 44 labour laws into four broad codes on wages, occupational safety, industrial relations and social security.

Last month, the Cabinet had approved Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019, which was later introduced in Lok Sabha.

The Code on Wage (first code) has already been approved by Parliament. The Code on occupational safety, health and working conditions has already been introduced in Lok Sabha and later sent to a standing committee for review.

The Code on Social Security states that the amalgamation of nine laws will facilitate implementation and remove the multiplicity of definitions and authorities without compromising the basic concepts of welfare and benefits to workers.

It also says that the code will facilitate the use of technology ensuring transparency and accountability leading to effective enforcement.

The bill provides that if the employer fails to register employee under Employees State Insurance (health insurance scheme) or does not pay contributions under the scheme then the benefit provided to the employee by the ESIC under the scheme would be recovered from the employer.

It will also provide for limitation period of five for instituting proceedings in respect of assessment and determination of money dues form employers under social security schemes.

It would also allow funding under corporate social responsibility for various schemes for unorganised workers.