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Govt floats draft rules on social security for informal sector

The draft rules will be open for public comment for over a month after which the ministry will notify the final rules. mintPremium
The draft rules will be open for public comment for over a month after which the ministry will notify the final rules. mint

State governments will formulate policies to provide social security benefits to gig economy and informal workers, which will be monitored by the central government through a national platform, according to draft rules of the labour code on social security unveiled on Sunday

State governments will formulate policies to provide social security benefits to gig economy and informal workers, which will be monitored by the central government through a national platform, according to draft rules of the labour code on social security unveiled on Sunday.

Such workers will need to self-register with the national platform. The directorate general of labour welfare, a body under the Centre, will man, monitor and clean up duplicate data wherever necessary.

Social security will be based on self-subscription, with the gig and platform companies hiring workers or partners needing to pay a monthly contribution.

Delays in payment will invite just a 1% penalty for every month of delay and Aadhaar-based identity will play a key role in the process.

“Every eligible unorganized worker, or any category or sub-category of unorganized worker shall be required to be registered with Aadhaar, on self-declaration basis in the form on the portal, as specified by the Central government. In order to be eligible for any benefit under any scheme(s) framed under the code for any unorganized worker or any category or sub-category of unorganized worker, the appropriate government may notify specific condition(s) for eligibility, as deemed fit," the Union labour ministry proposed.

“The eligible unorganized worker, or any category or sub-category of unorganized worker shall submit application form, electronically, with Aadhaar on self-declaration basis for registration to such authority on the specified portal of Central Government. On completion of registration, such worker shall be issued an acknowledgement, electronically or otherwise, bearing his unique registration number," the draft rules said.

The draft rules will remain open for public comment for over a month after which the ministry will finalize the rules, taking into consideration the suggestions and criticisms received.

The rules will be the backbone of the labour code on social security, already passed by Parliament that among other things aims to expand the scope of social security to informal and gig economy workers.

“It shall be responsibility of the state governments or Building Workers Welfare Board or any other such Board of the unorganized worker, employer of the building workers or aggregators or the contractors of unorganized workers or any category or sub-category of unorganized workers, or gig workers or platform workers, to register such eligible workers with Aadhaar who are not registered with ESIC or EPFO on the portal specified by the central government," the draft rules said.

“The directorate general of labour welfare, from time to time, shall de-duplicate the workers registered on the specified portal of the Central government, on the basis of Aadhaar and only such workers, shall be eligible to derive the benefits of the scheme(s) notified under the Code," it added.

The draft rules provide for “Aadhaar based registration of building and other construction workers on the specified portal…and where a building worker migrates from one state to another, he shall be entitled to get benefits in the state where he is currently working and it shall be the responsibility of the Building Workers Welfare Board of that State to provide benefits to such a worker".

The rules also provide for single electronic registration of an establishment including cancellation of the registration in case of closure of business activities, the ministry said.

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