New Delhi: The Ministry of Labour and Employment on Thursday announced that the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) would extend benefits of its health insurance cover to all casual and contractual workers at municipal bodies.
Various municipal bodies in different States and Union Territories employ a large number of casual and contractual workers. Since they are not regular employees of municipal corporations and municipal councils, these workers remain out of the social security net.
To address the issue, the ministry has decided to extend coverage under the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 (ESI Act) to all casual and contractual workers working at the municipal bodies in the country, it said in a statement.
ESIC has been directed to take up the matter with the States and UTs, being the appropriate government(s) under the ESI Act, for issue of notification for coverage of casual and contractual workers in the municipal corporations and councils in their respective jurisdictions,
The coverage shall be extended to those casual and contractual employees/ agencies/ establishments which are within the implemented areas already notified under the ESI Act, 1948 by the central government, the statement said.
For the National Capital Region of Delhi, the central government being the appropriate government under the ESI Act, the ministry has already issued an intention notification, dated June 7, for the ESI coverage of casual and contractual employees working at the municipal corporations and councils.
Once notifications for ESIC coverage are issued by the respective States and UTs, the casual and contractual workers working with municipal bodies will be able to avail the full gamut of benefits available under the ESI Act such as sickness benefit, maternity benefit, disablement benefit, dependent's benefit and funeral expenses.
In addition, these workers will be eligible to avail medical services through a vast network of ESI facilities -- 160 hospitals and over 1,500 dispensaries all over the country.
Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said that ESI coverage of casual and contractual employees working with municipal bodies shall go a long way in providing social security cover to a very vulnerable segment of the workforce.
"This shall contribute to social upliftment of this segment of workforce and their families," he added.