The Centre has decided to include all casual and contract workers employed by municipal authorities under the Employees' State Insurance Corporation's(ESIC) social security programs.
Now, these workers will be eligible to use ESI's huge network of medical facilities, which includes 160 hospitals and over 1500 dispensaries around the country.
The Ministry of Labour announced the decision to extend coverage under the Employees' State Insurance Act of 1948 (ESI Act) to all casual and contract workers employed by the country's local organizations.
ESI coverage for casual and contractual employees working for municipal authorities, according to Shri Gangwar, will go a long way toward providing social security coverage to a highly vulnerable part of the workforce. This will help to improve the social status of this group of workers and their families.
According to him, the ESI Corporation has been directed to take up the matter with the States/UTs, who is the appropriate government(s) under the ESI Act, for the purpose of issuing a notification for the coverage of casual and contractual workers in Municipal Corporation in their respective jurisdictions. The coverage would be extended to casual and contractual employees, agencies, and enterprises that are located within the implemented areas already specified by the Central Government under the ESI Act, 1948.
Various municipal entities in various States and Union Territories in the country employ a huge number of casual and contractual workers, according to the Minister. However, because these workers are not regular employees of Municipal Corporations/Municipal Councils, they are not covered by social security, making them a vulnerable group. This significant decision has been made to solve this issue, he stated.
Casual and contractual workers working for municipal bodies will be able to access the full range of benefits available under the ESI Act, including sickness benefit, maternity benefit, disablement benefit, dependents benefit, funeral expenses, and so on, once notifications for ESI coverage are issued by the respective States/UTs.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment has already issued an intention notification dated 7 June 2021 for coverage under the ESI Act of casual and contractual employees working with Municipal Corporations/ Council in the NCT of Delhi, the Central Government being the appropriate government under the ESI Act.