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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has undertaken several major policy initiatives to provide better services to insured workers and insured women.

During its 184th meeting held on February 22 under the chairmanship of Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Labour& Employment (Independent Charge), the government of India has taken several decisions to improve its service delivery mechanism and to strengthen the medical infrastructure benefiting its insured workers.

Key Highlights:

1. Relaxation in contributory conditions to avail sickness benefit to the insured women availing maternity benefit

After the enhancement in duration of maternity benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks, insured women were not eligible to avail sickness benefit in the corresponding benefit period after availing maternity benefit as the mandatory contributory conditions of minimum 78 days were not met under receipt of maternity benefit and leave.

In such cases, it has been now decided that insured women will be qualified to claim sickness benefit in the corresponding benefit period if the contribution in her respect were paid or payable for not less than half the number of days available for working in such shorter contribution period.

The relaxation will be effective from 20.01.2017 i.e. the date from which the enhanced duration of maternity benefit is effective.

2. Relaxation in contributory conditions to avail Sickness & Maternity Benefits for the benefit period of January to June 2021

A lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic last year, which resulted in the closure of factories/establishments for several months. It resulted in non-entitlement to avail sickness & maternity benefits for many Insured Persons/Women as the mandatory days of contribution couldn’t be met.

“Considering the hardship being faced by Insured Persons, ESIC has now decided to extend the relief to the IPs by relaxing the contributory conditions for availing the Sickness & Maternity Benefits for the benefit period of 01.01.2021 to 30.06.2021,” a PIB release read.

Apart from this, ESIC has also decided to construct a 300 bedded hospital including 50 Super Specialty beds at Haridwar, Uttarakhand and 350 bedded hospital with additional 50 bedded SST wing at Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

Similarly, Negative Pressure ICU will be established at ESIC Super Specialty Hospital & Medical College at Hyderabad, Telangana.

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