Press Information Bureau: December 18, 2017
New Delhi: The Ministry of Labour and Employment is committed towards job security, wage security and social security for each and every worker. Along with bringing transparency and accountability in enforcement of Labour Laws, the Ministry has taken important initiatives to realize and establish the dignity of every worker through provision of social security, enhancing the avenues and quality of employment.
The Government of India is working on a comprehensive strategy to bring employment to the core of development strategy, promoting industrial activity through Make in India, enhancing employability through Skill India and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship through Start up India.
I. Major Achievements in Labour Welfare:
1. Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017
The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017 has come into force form April 01, 2017 to increase paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. It also has mandatory provision for crèche in respect of establishments having 50 or more workers and enabling provision for work from home. For the first time, a provision for 12 weeks paid maternity leave has been made for both Commissioning and Adopting mothers. The act has approximately benefited 18 Lakh women employees.
2. Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017
i. The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, has been enacted with effect from 01.09.2016. The amendment provides for complete ban on the employment of a child below 14 years and prohibition on employment of adolescent (14-18) in hazardous occupation & profession, as notified in Schedule of Hazardous occupation & profession dated 30.08.2017. Following the amendment, Ministry of Labour & Employment has framed the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017 and notified in the Gazette of India on 02.06.2017. Further, India has now ratified two Core ILO conventions 138 and 182 on child labour.
For effective implementation of the provisions of the amended Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Ministry has prepared Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to facilitate enforcement of the amended act so that the goal of child labour free India could be realised.
PENCIL: An online portal was launched on 26.09.2017 for better monitoring & reporting system to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of the amended Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 and National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme. As on date District Nodal Officers from 431 districts out of 710 districts of the country have registered on the portal. Further all operational Project Societies of NCLP are registered on the portal for better implementation of NCLP scheme aimed at educational rehabilitation of child and adolescent labour.
3. Welfare of Unorganised Workers
i. Housing Subsidy to Beedi, Cine and Non-Coal Mine Workers has been increased from Rs. 40,000/- to Rs. 1,50,000. This year 15,705 Houses have been sanctioned at an expenditure of Rs. 25.5 crore.
Implementation of Revamped Bonded Labour rehabilitation Scheme: As on December 15, 2017 an amount of Rs. 664.50 Lakhs has been released for the rehabilitation of 6413 bonded labourers. Additionally, an amount of Rs. 107.25 Lakhs has been released in 2017-18 for the purpose of conducting Survey, Awareness Generation and Evaluation Studies.
4. Minimum Wages Revision: There has been an simultaneous increase of about 40% in the minimum wages for all sectors; agricultural, non-Agricultural, Construction etc. in Central Sphere. Minimum wage (per day) for non-agricultural worker in the ‘C’ area category increased form Rs. 250/- to Rs 350/-, Rs 437/- in ‘B’ area category and Rs. 523/- in ‘A’ area category. Notification to this effect was issued on 27.02.2017(corrigendum).
5. The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Act 2017: The Act now in force enables the employers to pay the wages to their employees in cash or by Cheque or by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employee with provision that the appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify that an industrial or other establishment shall pay the wages only by Cheque or by crediting the wages in his bank account. Notification to this effect in respect of Railways, air transport services, mines and oil field sectors covered under central sphere has been issued on 25th April 2017. This will help in transition towards formalisation of Labour force.
6. Payment of Wages Act, 1936: In exercise of the power conferred by sub-section (6) of Section 1 of the Act, the Central Government has enhanced the wage ceiling from Rs.18,000/- to Rs.24,000/- per month vide Gazette Notification dated 29th August,2017.
7. Opening of Bank Accounts: Ministry of Labour & Employment undertook a massive drive between November, 2016 to April, 2017 for opening bank accounts of the workers for ensuring cashless transactions of wages. 1,50,803 Camps were organized across the country where 49,66,489 bank accounts were opened for the workers to enable cashless transaction of wages.
II. Major Steps Taken by EPFO:
i. Employees Enrolment Campaign(EEC) of EPFO: EEC was launched by the Government in January,2017 to enroll left out employees and provide incentives to employers in the form of waiver of administrative charges, nominal damages @ Rupee 1/- annum and waiver of employees share if not deducted. In this drive, close to 1.01 crore additional employees have been enrolled with EPFO between January, 2017 to June, 2017.
Universal Account Number (UAN) as on 12.12.2017, allotted to organized sector workers making their EPF Accounts portable, benefiting 12,26,13,675 Workers and Aadhar Seeding completed for 2,56,59,988 UAN Subscribers. Access to online and mobile services (through UMANG app) is also made available.
iii. A housing Scheme has been notified by EPFO on 12th April 2017 to allow withdrawal of
provident fund by members for housing needs.
iv. Multiple Banking System: Instead of only one bank i.e. SBI, the establishments have the option of making directed payments through 13 banks now. They are SBI, Allahabad Bank, Indian Bank, PNB, UBI, Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, IDBI Bank.
v. Online Claim Receipt & other Services
a. Employers can pay their contributions online without any hassle; amount is credited to members’ accounts within 04 days.
b. Online facility launched for change in name, DOB, gender etc.
c. Digital Jeevan Praman Patra introduced for convenience of Pensioners
d. Online Filing of Returns of Exempted Establishments
e Online Processing of cases through E-Court Management System
2. Centralized Services: All 120 EPFO offices have migrated to the consolidated database at the National Data Centre for seamless interface across the country.
vii. International Workers:
1. Bilateral social security agreement (SSA) made with 19 countries to protect the interests of Indian professionals, skilled workers abroad; EPFO is the nodal implementing agency.
2. Online services for generation of certificate of coverage have been introduced.
3. Claims of International workers under are being settled on the last day of work in India.
4. In 2017, administrative arrangements of India Brazil negotiations were finalized.
III. Major Steps Taken by ESIC
i. Increased workforce under Social Security net:-
a. As on 31.03.2017, the number of Insured Persons covered under the ESI Scheme has increased to 3.19 crores and the number of beneficiaries covered under Scheme has also gone up to 12.40 crores.
b.The wage ceiling for coverage of employees under the ESI Act has been enhanced from Rs.15,000/- to Rs.21,000/- w.e.f. 1st January, 2017.
3. Extending the Coverage:-
a. As on 30.11.2017 ESI Scheme stands implemented fully in 325 Districts, partially in 85 Districts and in 93 District Hqrs.
b. 1,14,352 additional factories/establishments were brought under the purview of the scheme. As on 31.03.2017, the total number of factories/establishments covered had gone up to 8,98,138 as against 7,83,786 units at the end of March, 2016.
c.To extend the coverage to the entire workforce, ESI Corporation launched a new Employer friendly Scheme named ‘Scheme for Promoting Registration of Employers and Employees (SPREE)’. Under this scheme, a total of 1,02,013 Employers and 1,30,78,766 Employees have been covered under ESI Scheme upto 30.06.2017.
6. Empowerment to IPs & Employers’:-
a. E-biz platform:- ESIC was the first organization of Central government, to integrate its services (Registration of Employers through e-biz portal of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to promote ease of business and curb transaction costs.
b. E-Penchan:- A process of establishing the identity of the insured person through his Adhaar number has been set up by seeding his Adhaar number to his insurance number. This has simplified the identification process of the insured person and his/her dependents at various point of contact during all type of benefit disbursement. The process has enabled us to do away with the cumbersome process of making our Insured persons and their dependents to visit our offices to get their Biometrics taken for issuance of a Pehchan card.
IV. The Code on Wages Bill 2017:
It rationalizes, amalgamates and simplifies the relevant provisions of the following four labour laws:
The Minimum Wages Act, 1948
The Payment of Wages Act, 1936
The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, &
The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
The Draft Code on Wages Bill 2017 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha on 10.08.2017
V. Shram suvidha portal:
i. Unified Registration form for EPFO and ESIC has been made operational.
ii. Unified Returns (ECR) of EPFO and ESIC has been made operational.
iii. Total Establishments which have been allotted LIN as on 12.12.2017 is 22,92,586.
iv. More than 16,000 Annual Single Returns for 9 Labour Laws have been filed.
VI. MAJOR STEPS TO FACILITATE EMPLOYMENT GENERATION:
i. National Career Service (NCS): National Career Service Project brings employers, trainers and unemployed on single platform. 3.92 crore job seekers, 14.86 lakh employers have been registered and mobilization of over 7.73 lakh vacancies through the portal as on 31.10.2017. NCS has partnered with Department of Posts to extend registration of job seekers through the Post Offices. To enhance the reach and enrich the employment opportunities available to youth, 22 strategic MOUs have been signed with leading job portals, placement organizations and institutions of repute. Government of India has recently made it mandatory for government vacancies to be posted on the NCS Portal.
ii. 25 National Career Service Centres for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (NCSC SC/STs) have been set up for providing vocational guidance and counselling services and also training in computer courses. During 2017-18, around 1,11,146 SC/ST candidates were provided vocational guidance and counselling, 8,109 candidates pursued secretarial practices (shorthand/typing) for enhancing employability, 1,300 candidates pursed the special coaching scheme course and 3,000 candidates pursued the computer courses till November, 2017. The 25 (NCSC SC/STs) have been integrated with the NCS Project.
iii. 21 National Career Service Centres for Differently Abled (NCSCDA) have been set up for Handicapped to provide vocational training, vocational guidance and career counselling to assist persons with disabilities in the process of economic rehabilitation. During 2017-18, around 35,415 persons with disabilities were assessed/evaluated and guided for employability skills and around 6,440 were rehabilitate with various organisations.
iv. Model Career Centers: The Government has approved establishment of 100 Model Career Centers under NCS project to deliver quality employment services and these centres are being set up in collaboration with States and Institutions. The NCS Project has also been enhanced to interlink the employment exchanges with the NCS Portal. The Capacity Building programmes for 762 Employment Officers have been organised.
v. Job Fairs: 725 job fairs were organized till November 30, 2017.
vi. Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY): Government of India is implementing the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojanaa (PMRPY) to incentivize employers for new employment.The scheme launched on 9th August 2016provides that Government of India will pay the Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) contribution of 8.33% for all new employees enrolling in EPFO for the first 03 years of their employment. The scheme is applicable to those having earnings Rs. 15,000/- per month. A budget provision of Rs. 1000/- crore for this scheme has been made. For the textile (garmenting) sector, Government of India is paying the complete 12% employers’ contribution (8.33% EPS +3.67% EPF) for these new employees till November 2017. 21,841 establishments had registered under PMRPY scheme and EPS contribution was reimbursed for 13,74,626 beneficiaries. An expenditure of about Rs.178 crore has been made on the scheme till date.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.