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The Employee State Insurance Corporation Scheme (ESIC) provides members financial protection in case of an untimely health-related event. To safeguard the financial distress of the employees arising out of events such as sickness, death or disablement due to employment injuries, a self-finance comprehensive scheme is launched which is known as the ESIC scheme to protect the employees from such distress. The scheme offers medical benefits, disability benefits, unemployment allowances, maternity benefits, etc.
To ensure that the workforce is protected in terms of health and finance, the Parliament implemented the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948. The Act was the primary legislation that was designed to garner social security for workers. The Act encompasses health-related eventualities which workers are exposed to in their daily lives. This includes any type of temporary or permanent disability, diseases contracted from the workplace, and any injury that results in loss of earning capacity. The ESCI Act provides a financial safety net for workers against these ailments.
To avail the benefits offered by the ESIC, an individual should meet specific criteria that have been outlined by the committee. The scheme is applicable to
ESIC scheme was rolled out by the Ministry of Labour and Employment to protect workers interest against any medical calamities. Any organisation or establishment employing more than 10 workers, is required to register their workers under the ESIC scheme. The ESIC scheme is managed by the Employees' State Insurance Corporation which an autonomous body that operates under the Government of India and works as per the guidelines of the ESI Act, 1948.
The ESI Scheme is a social security and health insurance scheme that allows beneficiaries and their dependents to avail medical treatment benefits, maternity benefits to women workers, and unemployment cash benefits in some cases. If the insured person dies or becomes disabled to earn due to employment-related injuries, they are eligible to receive pension and disablement benefit, respectively.
The ESIC is a self-financed scheme, which means both the employer and the employee will contribute a certain portion from the wages towards the scheme. The employer contributes 4.75% while the employee contributes 1.75% of the earnings. Workers who are earning equal to or less than Rs. 21,000 a month are eligible to enrol for the scheme.
Every worker under ESIC scheme will be given a magnetic, smart identity card, which is called an ESI card or a Pehchan card. Beneficiaries need to produce this card while availing benefits at the ESI network hospitals and dispensaries. The ESI card bears all the details of the employee such as name, address, father's name, and insurance number, photograph, dependent's photograph and fingerprints. Each employee is given two sets of cards, one for himself and the other one for his dependents.
ESIC scheme was introduced for the social and economic welfare of the employees and designed in a way that the enrolled members under the scheme can reap maximum benefits.
Cash benefit period
The ESIC scheme provides an array of benefits, as mentioned below:
Medical benefit: Complete medical care is provided to the insured person as well as his/her family members. The scheme has no specified limits for such medical expenses.
Sickness benefit: A cash compensation up to 70% of the wages are paid in case of certified sickness for a maximum of 91 days in a year.
Disablement benefit: A benefit up to 90% of the wages are paid every month in case of total disablement. In the case of temporary disablement, the benefit amount is paid as long as the person is disabled.
Maternity benefit: Maternity benefit is payable for female employees for Twenty Six (26) weeks, and it may be extended for an extra month if required.
Dependent benefit: If the insured person passes away due to work hazards or injury related to employment, the family member of the insured will receive monthly instalments equal to 90% of the wages.
Funeral expenses: An amount equal to Rs. 15,000 is paid to the dependents of the insured to perform the funeral ceremony.
Confinement expenses: In case the insured or dependent is confined in a place where ESIC facilities are not available, an amount equal to Rs. 5000 is given. The benefit is payable for a maximum of two times.
An establishment or a factory that employs more than ten workers is required to register under the ESI scheme. The registration process can be done online through ESIC Portal – www.esic.in. Once the employer submits the required information on the ESIC Portal, the system will generate a 17-digit code automatically. The employer has an option to print a copy of the registration form, which is also sent to the employer via email, along with the login information. The employer is not mandated to sign the registration letter physically, it can be used as a valid proof of ESIC registration.
Employers can use the login credentials and carry out online activities, which include filling up employee details and maintain the records. In case the employer faces any difficulty at the time of registration, they can get in touch with ESIC helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organisations and factories registered under the ESIC scheme are required to keep a record of the following:
Duties For The Employer Under The ESIC Scheme
Before registering, the employer needs to avail the below-listed documents and submit them along with the registration form:
Documents related to the constitution of the factory/firm/establishment.
List of partners/directors and their residential addresses.
Document supporting the date of commencement of the organisation.
PAN card copy of the organisation
The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 is beneficial to workers in terms of social legislation and economic welfare. Its main aim is to provide compensation to employees and their dependents for employment injuries. ESI Corporation plays an important role in this regard. It is responsible for payment of compensation, employers' contribution, ensuring compliance, etc.
Section 3 of the ESI Act, 1948 states that the Central Government has to establish the corporation as per the provisions. The corporation is a body that has features such as succession. It has a common seal just as other commercial body corporates in the country. Hence, it functions as a regular body corporate.
The ESIC is an apex body under the Employee’s State Insurance Act, 1948. Thus, many experts play a vital role in its functioning. The corporation is headed by a chairperson and a vice-chairman who is appointed by the Central Government. Apart from this, the Central Government also gets to appoint five other persons in the body.
Each State Government gets to appoint one representative for itself in the corporation. The Central Government appoints a person that collectively represents all union territories.
The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation of India is a multidimensional social security system to provide social-economic protection to workers and their dependents covered under the scheme. Besides total medical care for self and dependents, the insured people are also entitled to a number of cash benefits in a time of physical distress due to employment-related sickness, temporary or permanent disability due to employment injuries, etc.
The social security provision of the Act counterbalances or negates the resulting financial or physical distress at the time of contingencies. The scheme aims to uphold worker's dignity in times of crises through protection from deprivation and social degradation, while enabling them retention and continuity of socially useful and productive manpower.