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Covid-19: Labour ministry announces additional benefits

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: May 30, 2021 7:00 pm

Our Reporter
Dimapur, May 30 (EMN):
The Ministry of Labour and Employment has announced additional benefits for workers through Employees’ State Insurance Act (ESIC) and Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) schemes to address the fear and anxiety of workers about the well-being of their family members due to increase in incidences of deaths due to Covid -19 pandemic.

Enhanced social security is sought to be provided to the workers without any additional cost to the employer. This was updated by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

“Currently for the Insured Persons (IPs) under ESIC, after death or disablement of the IP due to employment injury a pension equivalent to 90% of average daily wage drawn by the worker is available to the spouse and widowed mother for life long and for children till they attain the age of 25 years. For the female child, the benefit is available till her marriage”, the Ministry stated.

To support the families of IP under the ESIC scheme, the Ministry informed that ‘it has been decided that, all dependent family members of IPs who have been registered in the online portal of the ESIC prior to their diagnosis of Covid disease and subsequent death due to the disease, will be entitled to receive the same benefits and in the same scale as received by the dependents of insured persons who die as a result of employment injury, subject to the following eligibility conditions — the IP must have been registered on the ESIC online portal at least three months prior to the diagnosis of Covid disease resulting in death; the IP must have been employed for wages and contributions for at least 78 days should have been paid or payable in respect of deceased IP during a period of one year immediately preceding the diagnosis of Covid disease resulting in death’.

The IPs, who fulfil the eligibility conditions, and have died due to Covid disease, their dependents will be entitled to receive monthly payment at 90% of average daily wages of the insured person during their life. The scheme will be effective for a period of two years from March 24, 2020, the report mentioned.

It further stated that under the EPFO’s Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme, all surviving dependent family members of the members of this scheme are eligible to avail benefits of EDLI in case of death in harness of the member.

At present, under this scheme, the benefits extended in case of death of a worker are — no requirement of minimum service for payment of gratuity, family pension is paid as per provisions under Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act (EPF & MP) Act, sickness benefit of 70% of wages for 91 days in a year is paid in the event of worker falling sick and not attending office.

A notification issued by the Ministry has made some of the following amendments — amount of maximum benefit has been increased from INR 6 lakh to INR 7 lakh to the family members of deceased employee; minimum assurance benefit of INR 2.5 lakh to eligible family members of deceased employees who was a member for a continuous period of 12 months in one or more establishments preceding his death in place of existing provision of continuous employment in the same establishment for 12 months.

These welfare measures, the ministry stated, will provide the “much needed support to the families of workers who have died due to the Covid-19 disease and will protect them from financial hardships in these challenging times of pandemic”.

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: May 30, 2021 7:00:48 pm