Code on Social Security, 2020 was initiated in the Lok Sabha on 19th September 2020 vide Bill No. 121 of 2020 to propose a fresh Bill, namely, the Code on Social Security, 2020. This new code is expected to amend and combine the laws relating to social security for all the employees either in the organized or unorganized sector.
Report of Second National Commission on Labour
The Report of Second National Commission on Labour recommended that the existing set of labour laws will merged into the following groups-
- Welfare and working conditions;
- Social security;
- Industrial relations.
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List of the Repealed Acts
Introducing The Code on Social Security, 2020, the following Acts were repealed-
- The Unorganized Workers Social Security Act, 2008.
- The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972;
- The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961;
- The Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959;
- The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948;
- The Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952;
- The Employees Compensation Act, 1923;
- The Cine-Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981;
- The Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, 1996.
Reason for Merging the above Acts
- Merging of the above acts will remove the diversity of definitions;
- Extending the scope of the benefits to the fixed-term employees.
Features of the Code on Social Security, 2020
The features of the bill are as follows-
- To amend and combine the laws related to social security with the goal to widen the scope of social security to all the employees of the sectors;
- To provide for an establishment under chapter III related to Employees’ Provident Fund and under chapter IV related to Employees State Insurance Corporation on controlled basis even if the number of employees in the organization is less than the threshold;
- To define a variety of expressions used in the bills like “aggregator”, “career centre”, “platform worker”, “gig worker”, “wage ceiling”, and more. Additionally, the definition of “employee” has been broadly defined to cover maximum number of employees as well as workers;
- To provide for E-Registration for every organization to which the bill will apply, within time and manner as the central government determines. It also provides for an option for cancellation of registration by any organization whose business activities are in the process of closure.
- Constitution of various social security establishment for the management of the bill, they are as follows-
- To provide for the medical education institutions and training institutes of the ESIC. It may be run by the corporation itself or on the request by the central government or any state government or any PSU of the central government;
- To authorize the central government to outline any schemes for gig workers, unorganized workers, or platform workers and for the members of their family & providing benefits related to ESIC;
- Requirements for maternity benefits such as prohibition from work during such periods, claim for maternity benefits, provision for nursing breaks etc;
- To authorize the central government, to outline the proposal for the purpose of providing social security benefits to all the self-employed workers or any other class of workers.
The government’s move to initiate The Code on Social Security, 2020 was done to consolidate the laws related to social security and to make improvement over the previous versions of these labour laws. The merging of the said laws will facilitate implementation as well as remove the variety of definitions provided in the previous Acts. The merging was done with the concept of welfare and benefits of the workers.
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