50% pay for three months as unemployment allowance
The members of the Employees State Insurance Corporation who lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic gets 50% of salary to lakhs of workers for three months as unemployment allowance on Thursday by the the Centre.
For the industrial workers, who lost their jobs or are on the verge of losing jobs due to the impact of the pandemic and the lockdown, this move comes as a major relief. From several sections there have been demands to provide wage relief to workers hit hard by the pandemic. The finance ministry and Niti Aayog had demanded that the rules be eased at least two months ago.
From the start of lockdown on March 24 to December 31, the employees will be eligible to claim the allowance for three months (90 days). During the period from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2020, they should have been the part of the ESI scheme for two years, and during the period from October 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020, they should have contributed at least for 78 days and also in one of the other three six monthly contribution periods from April 1, 2018.
The member of the ESIC board and national executive member of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, V Radhakrishnan said that the move will benefit around 30-35 lakh workers and provide relief to those who have lost jobs.
The Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana scheme was modified and this liberalized scheme has been introduced. The ESIC scheme covers workers earning up to a specified limit and also entitles them to unemployment allowance.
The relief to extend of 25% of the average per day earning during the previous four contribution period is paid up to a maximum 90 days of unemployment once in a lifetime subject to certain conditions was under this scheme. Now, this has been raised to 50%.
The conditions stipulate that, during the period relief is claimed, the insured person should have been rendered unemployed. For a minimum period of two years immediately before his/her unemployment, he or she should be in insurable employment.
It also says that the insured person should have contributed for at least 78 days during each of preceding four contribution periods.
The earlier condition was the claim had to be submitted through the employers but now, to get the claim the conditions have been eased to allow workers to approach the ESIC office, the sources said. It shall become due for payment after 30 days instead of the relief becoming payable for 90 days.
The ESIC has decided to extend the scheme for one more year up to June 30, 2021. During a meeting of the ESIC headed by the minister of state for labour Santhosh Ganwar, this decisions were taken. A government statement said that the meeting also decided to set up ICU and HDU services at 10% of total beds in ESIC hospitals.