Labour Law

Gig workers under the social security net to be brought under ESIC Scheme

Gig workers

Gig workers, who don’t have any protective cover, under the government regulations have now got an opportunity as the government has decided to extend social security benefit for them.

The Union Ministry of Labour and Employment is targeting to bring gig and platform workers across the nation under the scope of the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme (ESIC) upon the implementation of the social security code. 

The social security code was passed by the parliament in September last year that seeks to extend ESIC benefits for these workers category which are among the least privileged labour force.

Companies such as Swiggy, Zomato, Uber etc are supposed to contribute around 1-2% of their annual turnover or 5% of the total amount which is paid to such workers, whichever is lower to a social security fund

The central government initially planned to implement the four labour codes on 1st April. However, there are chances to get delayed in the implementation of labour codes as several state government several state governments are yet to conceive the rules under the social security codes.

During the budget announcement for 2021-2022, the government announced to set up a database for such informal sector employees including gig and platform workers which may help the government to offer them social security and welfare benefits.

ESIC has almost more than 13 crore beneficiaries eligible to gain benefits from the ESIC scheme. The self-financing social security and health insurance scheme is currently active in around 570 districts across the country with the government planning to expand its coverage to all of the 740 districts.

ESIC has recently amalgamated with Ayushman Bharat to extend the benefits such as cashless medical service through  Ayushman Bharat empanelled hospitals o around 1.35 crore beneficiaries in four states where ESIC’s facilities remain unavailable.