The nature of jobs has changed a lot in the last few decades. Earlier people used to stick to a job for decades but the new generation sticks to a company for less than even two years. People keep switching industry, jobs, and companies because there is hunger to keep learning and doing new things. The companies also have ‘hire and fire’ system where you are in an organization only as long as you are needed there. Constant innovation changes the nature of job in less than decades and many people lose jobs due to new technology or changing requirements. Therefore government has decided to financially support people who lose their jobs. “Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), in its 175th meeting on Tuesday here, approved ‘Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna’ for insured persons covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948,” said Ministry of Labor and Employment in a statement.
The changing nature of jobs from permanent to contract based and short term has compelled the government to come up with a scheme like this. The insurance benefits will be delivered through ESIC which is a self-financing social security and health insurance scheme for Indian workers. “The current scenario of employment in India which has transformed from a long-term employment to fixed short-term engagement in the form of contract and temping… This scheme is a relief payable in cash directly to their bank account in case of unemployment and while they search for new engagement,” read the ministry statement.
ESIC provides health insurance and social security benefits to people employed in formal sector. Almost 2.93 crore people are covered under this scheme and the number of beneficiaries is almost 12.4 crores. Mostly people from media industry, cinema and entertainment industry, hotel industry are prime beneficiaries of this scheme. Except the unemployment benefits, government also lowered the number of days after which an employee could benefit from super specialty treatment from two years six months to 78 days. “This relaxation will immensely help the Insured persons and their beneficiaries to avail super specialty treatment free of cost as per revised eligibility,” the Ministry said. Any company with more than 10 employees could get itself and employees registered with the scheme, 4.75 percent of contribution is paid by employee and 1.75 percent by the company. The companies must register their employees and family members to be registered with Aadhar (UID) in ESIC database so that multiple registrations could be prevented. The funeral expense of insured person was also increased from 10,000 to 15,000 rupees.
One of the major focuses of the government in last few years has been to push for welfare state through financial inclusion and insurance. More than half of the population did not have a bank account before 2014. The number of people insured against various type of risks like job loss, accident, death was less than double digit. However, the percentage of insured population has gone up exponentially during Modi government. The target is to provide social security benefits to 50 crore workers in the country. Ministry of labor has prepared a comprehensive draft to provide social security benefits to almost every person working in formal as well informal employment. The drafted bill plans to extend social security benefits to all workers including those in informal employment by merging and simplifying 15 federal labour laws into one. The old age pension and life insurance schemes are expected to come under the recently launched APY and PMJJBY schemes by the Modi government.
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