Year End Review- 2019: Ministry of Labour and Employment
More than 39 Lakhs Beneficiaries Enrolled In PM-SYM and more than 20,000 in NPS- Traders
1,52,778 establishments covering 1,21,65,587 Employees Benefitted under PMRPY
30 DEC 2019
Ministry of Labour and Employment has taken a number of initiatives for bringing transparency and accountability through reforms and enforcement of Labour Laws, with the objective of strengthening the safety, security, health, social security for every worker and bringing ease of compliance for running an establishment to catalyze creation of employment opportunities. These initiatives include governance reforms through use of e-governance measures and legislative reforms by simplifying, amalgamating and rationalizing the existing labour laws into 4 labour codes. Two mega pension schemes were launched during the year for old age protection and social security of unorganized workers.
LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES: LABOUR LAW REFORMS
Labour Codes: As per the recommendations of the 2nd National Commission on Labour, Ministry has taken steps for codification of existing Central labour laws into 4 Codes by simplifying, amalgamating and rationalizing the relevant provisions of the Central Labour laws. At present, the Ministry has been working on to simplify, amalgamate & rationalize the provisions of the existing Central labour laws into 4 Labour Codes.
(I) Labour Code on Wages: The Code on Wages, 2019 subsumes 4 existing Laws, viz. the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. It has been passed by both Houses of the Parliament and assented to by the President on 08.08.2019.
(II) Labour Code on Industrial Relations: The draft Labour Code on Industrial Relations subsumes the existing Laws viz. The Trade Union Act, 1926; The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946; The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The Code has been introduced in the Lok Sabha on 28.11.2019.
(III) Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare: The draft Code on Social Security subsumes 09 Labour Acts like: The Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923, The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, The Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 etc.
The Code has been introduced in Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019.
(IV) Labour Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions: The Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2019 subsumes the 13 Labour Acts like: The Factories Act, 1948, The Plantation Labour Act, 1951, The Mines Act, 1952, The Building and Other Constructions Workers’ (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 etc.
The Occupational Safety Health & Working Conditions Code, 2019 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 23.07.2019. Presently, the Code has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour for examination.
GOVERNANCE REFORMS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Shram Suvidha Portal:
The Ministry of Labour & Employment has developed a unified Web Portal ‘Shram Suvidha Portal’, to bring transparency and accountability in enforcement of labour laws and ease complexity of compliance.
Allotment of unique Labour Identification Number (LIN) to Units after registration to facilitate online inspection & compliance was started on the Portal with its launch on 16.10.2014 itself. Unique Labour Identification Number (LIN) has been allotted to 27,81,065 units as on 08.11.2019.
Transparent Labour Inspection Scheme in Central Sphere was started on the Portal with its launch on 16.10.2014 itself. Since the launch of the Labour Inspection Scheme, 5,24,189 inspection reports across the four Central Labour Enforcement Agencies have been uploaded on Shram Suvidha Portal.
ONLINE RETURN – Unified Online Annual Returns have been made mandatory in respect of eight (8) Central Labour Acts, namely, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979, and the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) (BOCW) Act, 1996. These Returns which were half yearly/annually earlier, now need to be filed by all employers annually only and are to be filed online. 1,08,711 online returns have been filed on the Shram Suvidha Portal as on 08.11.2019 Since launch of the Online Annual Return.
31,047 online returns have been filed on the Shram Suvidha Portal till November 08, 2019 under Mines Act, 1952 (Coal Mines Regulations, Metallurgical Mines Regulations and Oil Mines Regulations).
Unified monthly Electronic Challan-cum-Return (ECR) for EPFO and ESIC has been made operational.
COMMON REGISTRATION: Common Registration form for EPFO and ESIC has been made operational. 1,27,544 units have been registered with EPFO & 1,07,681 units have been registered with ESIC as on November 08, 2019.
Common Registration under three Central Acts namely the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) Act, 1996, the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and conditions of Service) Act, 1979 and the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 is being provided online on Shram Suvidha Portal. 6052 registrations have been issued using this facility as on 08.11.2019.
Licenses under two Central Acts, namely, the, Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 and the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 have been made online. 20,316 licenses have been issued using this facility as on 08.11.2019.
Integration of States with Shram Suvidha Portal is under way. As on date, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Delhi are being integrated with the Portal. Data is being shared and LIN is being allotted to the establishments covered by the state labour enforcement agencies.
Start Up India
Facility for exemption from Labour Inspections under six (6) Central Labour Acts is being provided to the Start-ups which submit self certified declarations through Shram Suvidha Portal.
State/UT Governments have been advised to regulate the inspections for the Start-Ups, wherever applicable and extend the self-certification compliance regime from 3 years to 5 years. 27 States/UTs have taken action on the advisory dated 12.01.2016 /06.04.2017 issued by this Ministry for self-certification and to regulate inspection under the four (4) labour laws viz. the Building & Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979,the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 and the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 for the start-ups wherever applicable.
Social Security Schemes
Government of India has launched two pension schemes for old age protection and social security of Unorganised Workers in 2019.
Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM), a voluntary and contributory pension scheme, was launched in February, 2019 for the benefit of unorganized workers. It is central sector scheme open to unorganised workers, whose monthly income is Rs.15000/- or below and who has an Aadhar number as well as savings bank / jan-dhan account. The minimum age for joining the scheme is 18 years and the maximum is 40 years. Under the scheme, minimum assured monthly pension of Rs.3000/- will be provided to the beneficiaries from the age of 60 years onwards. Enrolment to the Scheme is done through the Common Service Centres, with its network of 3.50 lakh Centres across the country. In addition eligible persons can also self-enroll through visiting the portal www.maandhan.in. Under the scheme, the subscriber is required to pay the prescribed monthly contribution amount and the Central Government provides equal contribution. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is the Pension Fund Manager and shall be responsible for pension pay-out. Total number of 39,00,525 beneficiaries under PM-SYM have been enrolled as on 10.12.2019.
National Pension Scheme for Traders, Shopkeepers and Self-Employed Persons has been launched on 12.09.2019. It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme. Enrolment to the Scheme is done through the Common Service Centres, with its network of 3.50 lakh Centres across the country. In addition eligible persons can also self-enroll through visiting the portal www.maandhan.in. The traders in the age group of 18-40 years with an annual turnover, not exceeding Rs.1.5 crore and who are not a member of EPFO /ESIC/ NPS/ PM-SYM or an income tax payer, can join the scheme. Under the scheme, 50% monthly contribution is payable by the beneficiary and equal matching contribution is paid by the Central Government. Subscribers, after attaining the age of 60 years, are eligible for a monthly minimum assured pension of Rs.3,000/-. Total number of 20,000 beneficiaries under NPS-Traders have been enrolled as on 10.122019.
Pension Week was also celebrated in all the States/UTs w.e.f. 30th November to 06th December, 2019 in coordination with Common Service Centres, to increase the enrolments under both the Schemes, i.e. PM-SYM and NPS-Traders. A Central level function was inaugurated on 30.11.2019 by Minister for Labour and Employment launching the Pension Week/Pension Saptah. All the State Governments/UT Governments were requested for popularizing and bringing more awareness about the scheme. The progress of the Scheme is being reviewed regularly in the Ministry for taking initiatives under Mission Mode.
Major Steps Taken In EPFO
Three new apps to improve service delivery of subscribers were launched by Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment on EPFO Foundation Day. The details of three important digital initiatives of EPFO are as under:
Online Facility for UAN generation by worker: Now any workers can obtain Universal Account Number (UAN) directly on EPFO website which enrolls them for PF, Pension and Life Insurance benefits and a worker need not depend on his employer alone for UAN. This is in the direction of ease of living and ensuring universal social security.
EPS Pensioner’s PPO in DigiLocker website / Application (APP) EPFO integrates with DigiLocker of NeGD to create depository of electronic PPOs which is accessible to individual pensioners. This is a move towards paperless system and ease of living for pensioners.
e-Inspections: Digital interface of EPFO with employers: The E-Inspection Form would be available in user login of employers not filing ECR which enables employer to inform either closure of business or unpaid dues with proposal for payment. It will nudge employers for compliant behavior and prevent undue harassment of non-willful defaulters and eliminate inspector raj.
Central Board of Trustees, EPF recommends crediting of 8.65% rate of interest on Accumulations in the EPF Member’s Account for the year 2018-19:
In 224th meeting of the Central Board of Trustees, EPF under the chairmanship of Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment (I/C) Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, the Central Board recommended crediting of 8.65 % rate of interest on the EPF accumulations in the EPF member’s account for the year 2018-19.
New Initiatives taken in Central Board of Trustees (CBT) meeting held on 21 August 2019:
1. Amendment in Employees’ pension Scheme 1995:
In a major decision, the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) EPF in a meeting held at Hyderabad on 21 August 2019, approved the proposal to recommend for amendment in Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995 for restoration of commuted value of pension to the Pensioners after 15 years of drawing commutation which will benefit approx. 6.3 lakhs pensioners. This was a long pending demand of the pensioner
2. Launch of Revamped EPFIGMS 2.0 Version:
The Chairman CBT also launched the revamped EPFIGMS 2.0 version which will benefit more than 5 crores subscribers and lakhs of employers by speedy and smooth resolution of grievances.
Selection of ETF Manufacturers: The Board approved the decision to choose the Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) manufacturers through public bidding by 30/10/2019, extension of the term of the present ETF manufacturers (SBI MF and UTI MF) till then and also to authorized the Finance Investment & Audit Committee (FIAC) to conduct the exercise of choosing ETF manufacturers.
Allocation of investment in Nifty 50 and Sensex: The Board approved the proposal that the fund allocation between Nifty 50 and Sensex ETFs be divided evenly, i.e. in the ratio of 50% to 50%.
Appointment of a Consultant in addition to M/s. CRISIL Ltd: The Board approved the nomination of members from employer’s and employee side in a Committee constituted to select and appoint a separate Agency/Consultant in addition to M/s. CRISIL limited, inter-alia to review the working of the Portfolio Managers (PMs), assist the investment Committee in redemption of ETFs, etc.
Appointment of Portfolio Managers for managing funds of Central Board, EPF: The Central Board approved Request for Proposal (RFP) document for appointment of Portfolio Managers and recommendation of the FIAC on appointment of Portfolio Managers.
Exercise of early redemption options available in DHFL Bonds: The Board approved for early redemption option in DHFL bonds recommended by FIAC.
Major Steps Taken In ESIC
Rate reduction in ESI Contribution- The ESI Corporation has reduced rates of ESI Contribution being paid by employees and employers covered under ESI Scheme from 6.5 % (Employees’ share 1.75% & Employers’ share 4.75%) to 4% (Employees’ share 0.75% & Employers’ share 3.25%) with effect from 01.07.2019. This reduction of contribution rates, will ensures financial relief to employers and employees. However, the healthcare benefits under the ESI scheme will remain the same. The decision will benefit 36 million workers and 1.28 million employers.
Health Passbook for ESI Beneficiaries – ESIC has introduced a Health Passbook for ESI Beneficiaries in Phased manner. This Health Passbook serves as a user-friendly mechanism for beneficiary identification, recording of clinical finding and consultation advice by the Insurance Medical Practitioner(s). Salient feature of Health Passbook is as under: –
Separate Passbook with Unique Health ID, QR code and photograph of Insured Persons and his/her family members.
Serves for beneficiaries identification & recording of clinical findings and consultation advice by ESI Doctors/ IMPs.
Passbook would be issued by the ESIC Branch Offices in a phased manner.
Insured Persons of ESIC from newly implemented area to get treatment under Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY): ESIC has decided to provide cashless medical care services to entitled Insured Persons and Beneficiaries under Ayushman Bharat package rates in newly implemented area of 102 designated Districts through PMJAY empanelled hospitals up to a maximum limit of Rs.5.00 lakh, beyond which individual case will be channelled to ESIC for seeking approval for further expenditure on ESI beneficiaries. Similarly, PMJAY beneficiaries may get in-house medical treatment services as per Ayushman Bharat approved packages from underutilized ESI Hospitals.
ESIC – Chinta Se Mukti app launched – The Corporation has also launched the ESIC “Chinta Se Mukti” app available on the UMANG platform to facilitate stakeholders to view contribution details, eligibility for benefits, claim status, etc. in their Mobile Handset.
Extending medical benefits to Non-IPs – The Corporation has extended its medical services to Non-Insured Persons (General Public) in its under-utilized hospitals. Now, Non-IPs can avail medical services from underutilized ESIC Hospital, at Alwar (Rajasthan), Bihta (Bihar), Gulbarga (Karnataka), Bareilly Varanasi, Sarojani Nagar (Lucknow) & Jajmau (Kanpur) on a nominal charge of Rs.10/- for OPD Consultation and at 25% of CGHS package rates for IPD.
Unified Website – In order to maintain the corporate identity of ESIC and to have a repository of common information, and also to have uniformity in design and content, a Unified Website www.esic.nic.in has been launched. All the Regional Offices/Sub-Regional Offices, ESIC Hospitals and ESIC Medical Institutions & Hospitals have been made part of this single unified website.
ESIC- contributing excellence in sports – ESIC had recruited 135 meritorious sports persons including Shri Pramod Bhagat, ace para-shuttler from all across India during the year 2016. Shri Pramod Bhagat, an ESIC employee at Regional Office, Bhubaneswar has received prestigious Arjuna Award for the current year on 29th Aug., 2019. Shri Pramod Bhagat has many tournaments to his credit including five international titles in six tournaments he participated. He won a gold medal in the men’s singles SL3 category at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in Basel. Bhagat said he is now focusing to clinch a gold medal in the Olympics.
Strengthening of Medical Infrastructure – In order to provide in-house quality medical services in the major ESIC Hospitals, of late, ESIC has procured state-of-the-art medical equipments viz. MRI, CT Scan etc. for ICU, Secondary & Super Speciality care.
National Career Service Project-(NCS) – The Ministry is implementing the National Career Service (NCS) Project as a Mission Mode Project for transformation of the National Employment Service to provide a variety of employment related services like career counselling, vocational guidance, information on skill development courses, apprenticeship, internships etc. The services under NCS are available online and can be accessed directly, through Career Centres, Common Service Centres, post offices, mobile devices, cyber cafes etc. The various stakeholders on the NCS platform include job-seekers, industries, employers, employment exchanges (career centres), training providers, educational institutions and placement organizations.
The progress of NCS Portal is given below:
NATIONAL CAREER SERVICE
Number as on 31st October, 2019
Active Jobseekers Registered
Active Employers Registered
Total Vacancies Mobilized
With the increased focus of Government on Career Counselling, the Ministry proposes to create a network of Career Counsellors where the Career Centres will become the hub of Career Counselling in their area. Under the process, 5645 Active Career Counsellors from various States/UTs have got registered at NCS Portal.
The NCS Project also envisaged setting up of Model Career Centres (MCCs) to be established in collaboration with States and other institutions to deliver employment services. Approval for 146 MCCs has been accorded (including 07 MCCs on non-funding basis). These model centres can be replicated by the States from their own resources. The Government now, keeping in view of the importance of the employment as a thrust area in Government Schemes, and to provide employment related services to maximum job seekers and other stakeholders has decided to establish 100 more Model Career Centres (MCCs) thereby extending the geographical coverage of the scheme increasing number of Government funded MCCs to 200 during 14th Finance commission (2017-2020). Proposals were received from different States. On the recommendations of the Appraisal Committee, Government has approved 171 (including 07 on non-funding basis) Model Career Centres. Further 37 more model career centers have been recommend by the Inter Ministerial Appraisal Committee in the meeting held on November 20, 2019.
National Career Service Centres for Differently Abled (NCSC-DAs): 21 National Career Service Centres for Differently Abled (NCSC-DAs) are functioning in the country under the administrative control of Directorate General of Employment, M/O Labour & Employment. These Centres evaluate residual capacities of Persons with Disabilities, provide Vocational Training, and extend Vocational Rehabilitation assistances etc. to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). The Services of NCSC-DAs are open to Persons with Disabilities irrespective of the gender and education in the category of Locomotor, Visual & Hearing impaired, Mild Mental Retardation and Leprosy Cured.
6644 Candidates have been rehabilitated upto October 31, 2019 by NCSC-Das.
National Career Service Centre Centres (NCSCs) for SC/STs; Directorate General of Employment is implementing the scheme for “Welfare of SC/ST job seekers through Coaching, Vocational Guidance and Training and Introduction of new courses in existing National Career Service Centre Centres (NCSCs) for SC/STs and Establishment of new NCSCs in the States not covered so far” Under the scheme, National Career Service Centre Centres (NCSCs) for SC/STs has been set up by Govt. of India, Ministry of Labour& Employment, DGE to enhance the employability of SC/ST job seekers through coaching/training. So far 25 National Career Service Centre Centres for SCs/STs have been set up.
67761 candidates have been provided guidance and counselling services, 5621 students were trained in typing and shorthand and 1050 candidates were trained in computer skills by NCSC-SC/STs upto October 31, 2019.
Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) – Under the scheme, Government of India is paying Employer’s full contribution i.e. 12% towards EPF and EPS both (as admissible from time to time) for a period of three years to the new employees through EPFO.
This scheme has a dual benefit, where, on the one hand, the employer is incentivised for increasing the employment base of workers in the establishment, and on the other hand, a large number of workers will find jobs in such establishments. A direct benefit is that these workers will have access to social security benefits of the organized sector. All the beneficiaries under this scheme are Aadhaar Seeded.
152778 Establishments covering 12165587 Beneficiaries have benefitted till November 25, 2019 under Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY).
BRIEF OF WORKERS EDUCATION SCHEME
The Dattopant Thengadi National Board for Workers Education & Development (renaming of CBWE), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India conducts the Workers Education Programmes of varied nature and duration in the country through its 50 Regional and 7 Sub-Regional Directorates spread Kashmir to Kannyakumari and Leh and laddakh for all categories without making any distinction on the basis of male and female in Organised, Unorganised and Rural Sectors. The DTNBWED training programmes aim at creating desired awareness among the workers in general and unorganized/ rural workers in particular about their rights and entitlements under various welfare schemes of the Central / State government etc.
The Board has organized 1625 training programme organized sector workers, 1120 programme conducted for unorganized and 150 for rural workers.