Gig Workers To Get ESIC Benefits  As Per New Labour Codes; Companies Like Swiggy, Uber Will Have To Pitch InA Zomato delivery boy on a motorcycle.

The Union Ministry of Labour and Employment is targeting to bring around 40-50 lakh gig and platform workers across the nation under the ambit of the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme (ESIC) upon the implementation of the social security code.

The code was passed by the parliament in September last year and proposes to extend the benefits of ESIC to platform and gig workers, who are considered to be the least privileged classes of the labour force.

Apparently, companies such as Swiggy and Uber will be asked to pitch in with 1-2 per cent of their annual turnover or 5 per cent of the total payable amount to these workers, whichever is lower, to a social security fund.

Initially, the central government had planned to implement the four labour codes from 1st April onward. However, this is supposed to be delayed as several state governments are yet to devise the rules under the codes.

Sources from the labour ministry quoted by Financial Express mentioned that the reported number of 40-50 lakh platform and gig workers shoot up gradually as the primary objective is to bring the entire workforce under some sort of social security net.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced setting up a database of informal sector employees to provide them with social security and welfare advantages.

ESIC had almost 13 crore beneficiaries eligible to gain ESI benefits as of March 2018. 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 had also collaborated with Ayushman Bharat recently to roll out its cashless medical services through Ayushman Bharat-enrolled hospitals to around 1.35 crore beneficiaries in four states where ESIC’s facilities remain unavailable.

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