After its latest amendment to the Act, the Labour Ministry has done away with provision for a lowered rate of contribution by employees and employers to the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme for new areas and increased the maternity benefit entitlement to its insured members in the case of confinement.
"In the Employees' State Insurance (Central) Rules, 1950, rule 51B shall be omitted," a gazetted notification said. 51B provides for employers' contribution at the rate of 3% an employees's contribution at 1%, of the wages of the employee, for the initial two years in areas where the Act has been implemented for the first time.
This would mean that the rate of contribution has been restored to 4.75% by the employer and 1.75% by the employee.
Further, in the maternity benefits for ESIC subscribers, the ministry has notified that "In the Employees' State Insurance (Central) Rules, 1950, in the rule 56-A, for the words "rupees five thousand", the words "rupees seven thousand five hundred" shall be substituted."
Under ESIC scheme, an insured woman and an insured person in respect of his wife is eligible for a medical bonus on account of confinement expenses, provided that the confinement occurs at a place where necessary medical facilities under ESIC scheme are not available. This bonus has been increased to Rs 7,500 from the earlier Rs 5,000 per case.