Draft social security code

News:Government of India has circulated the Draft social security code.


Highlights of the code:

  • The draft code has proposed that the Central Government shall formulate and notify social security schemes for unorganised workers on matters relating to life and disability cover, health, pension among others.
  • The code has also proposed to offer a slew of benefits from provident funds to health cover, accident insurance and education for children of informal and gig workers.
  • The code says that the state governments may also unveil schemes related to provident fund, employment injury benefits, housing, educational schemes for children, skill upgradation for workers among others.
  • The code also says that every woman is entitled to the payment of maternity benefit for the period of her actual absence.It includes the period immediately preceding the day of her delivery and the period immediately following her delivery.
  • The Code on Social Security once in place will also merge the eight existing labour laws.
  • The code also proposes the Corporatization of Employment provident fund organisation(EPFO) and Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
  • This means that the labour minister, labour secretary and the central PF commissioner and Director General of ESIC may not be by default the head of such organizations.

Flaws in the code:

  • The code talks about social security but does not specify how universal social security will be achieved. 
  • It talks about insurance, provident fund and other benefits for gig workers but fails to clarify who is responsible for providing them.
  • The code has also avoided the ambiguities over the basic criteria for availing social security benefits such as the minimum number of employees in an organisation and length of service.
  • The code is also unclear on how the proposed Corporatization ESIC and EPFO is a better alternative.