- About Coverfox
Employees' State Insurance, abbreviated as ESI is a comprehensive social security plan by the Government of India to protect the interest of Indian workers, who are covered under the scheme. The scheme offers protection against the financial distress arising out of unemployment and health issues such as sickness, maternity, physical disability or death due to employment injury.
The scheme is a self-financed one with contributions made by both employer and employee, and it covers workers of all factories and establishment throughout India as defined in the ESI Act.
The ESI Act guarantees complete medical care and financial assistance to workers and their immediate dependent family members during unfavourable situations.
ESIC or Employees' State Insurance Corporation is an autonomous corporation, set up under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, and is managed according to the rules specified in ESI Act, 1948.
It is one of the longest-running social security schemes of the government, which was first implemented at Kanpur on 24th February, 1952. The framework of the ESI Act, 1948 was made by Dr. B R Ambedkar and all the benefits provided to the employees are in accordance with ILO conventions.
The ESI Act was initially applicable to factory workers, but later on, it expanded its reach by including all establishments having a workforce of 10 or more persons, with a monthly salary not exceeding Rs. 21,000, and Rs. 25,000 for a person with a disability. Currently, the employee's contribution rate (w.e.f. 1.1.97) is 1.75% of the wages and that of employer's is 4.75% of the wages paid/payable in respect of the employees in every wage period. The State Governments bear one-eighth share of expenditure on Medical Benefit within the per capita ceiling of Rs.900 per annum and all additional expenditure beyond the ceiling. As per the ESI Act, the medical expenditure incurred under the ESI scheme, is shared between ESIC and State Government in the ratio of 7:1.
There are few exemptions and exception in the ESI Act. 1948, which are listed below:
The employee threshold for establishments located in Maharashtra and Chandigarh is 20 or more persons.
Employees whose daily wage is within Rs. 176 are exempted from their own ESI contribution, and full contribution is made by the employer.
The ESI Act, 1948 empowers ESIC to independently establish hospitals or collaborate with the state governments or private entities for the same.
The functioning of ESIC is managed from its headquarter situated in New Delhi, along with 23 regional and 26 sub-regional offices. It has over 830 ESI centres throughout India for successful implementation of the ESI scheme.
As on 31st March 2018, the ESIC infrastructural network consists of 154 ESI hospitals with 19,626 beds and an additional 42 hospitals with 371 beds.
For out-patient services, it has 1500 ESI service dispensaries, over 2100 Panel Clinics, 307 diagnostic centres.
The total number of beneficiaries of the ESI scheme stands at 13.32 crore from 10.33 lakh employer.
ESIC under Section 46 of the ESI Act has enlisted six major social security benefits to the registrant of the ESI scheme:
Under this scheme, if an insured person under the cover of ESI for three or more years, becomes unemployed due to factory closure, workforce curtailment or permanent invalidity, then he/she is entitled to:
Under Section 1(5) of the ESI Act., entities that are covered under ESIC are:
Note: If you are employed in a seasonal factory or mine, then you are not eligible for ESIC benefits.
Anybody, those who are working in a factory or establishment as defined in the ESI Act, and whose monthly pay (Basic+ Dearness Allowance) is less than Rs 21,000 are eligible for enrolling in the ESI scheme [Rs. 25,000/- per month in the case of persons with disability].
It offers seamless access to medical services across network hospitals, without carrying documents.
The card stores the medical history and treatment of the insured and can be beneficial during emergency situations.
In the case of a change in jobs, you just need to inform the insurance number to your new employer and can continue using the facilities.
This card is used to claim all the benefits offered under the ESI scheme.
Biometric authentication makes it a very secure card, thus preventing frauds.
The process to obtain ESIC or Pehchan card is very easy and hassle-free. Below is the process to obtain the Pehchan Card.
Obtain print counterfoil form from your company/employer, which is available in ESIC portal.
Print counterfoil form is your ESI application form, in which you need to sign and paste a family photograph.
Attest this counterfoil form from your employer/company.
Bring your dependent family members and counterfoil form to nearest ESIC office for biometric collection, verification and photographs.
Within 30 days of the verification process, you will get two sets of cards by courier or can collect it from the office, as intimated by officials.
In case for an issue of duplicate ESIC smart card, the employee needs to submit the duly filled Form 72.
The claim for unemployment allowance under the ESI Act should be submitted within three months of losing the employment status. You need to submit Form (US-1) to the branch office, supported by the necessary documents for proving unemployment.
The forms are available for download on the ESIC employee portal.
Claims status can be checked online through ESIC Employee Portal.
All the states have different rules and regulations for the number of employees required for ESIC registration.
The total number of employees required under ESI Act for factories is 10 or more for pan-India basis.
For establishments, the number of employees varies from state to state, and the following snapshot shows the minimum number of employees required:
|State Name||Minimum Employees to be Registered|
|Jammu and Kashmir||20|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||20|
|Dadar and Nagar Haveli||20|
|Daman and Diu||20|
Employee State Insurance Corporation has played an instrumental role in providing access to quality health care services to millions of workers in the organized sector. Since its inception, it has played a pivotal role for overall social development and human security, helping to provide the right standard of living to the beneficiaries of the scheme.
For employees, the benefits are many, right from the full medical benefit to sickness benefit, disability benefit, maternity benefit, unemployment benefit and death benefits. The schemes fulfil the aspiration of millions of workers, in the hour of distress.
For employers also, the ESI scheme is a boon, as it freed them from the worry of workers during their health distress. Further, the ESI scheme is very economical for organisations compared to any regular social security schemes offered by insurance companies.