Economy

Unorganised labour to get social security soon

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on November 16, 2020

Aadhaar-based registration of Building and Other Construction Workers through a dedicated portal will be made available

Labour Ministry has come out with draft rules for ‘Code on Social Security’ for workers in unorganised sector, including gig and platform workers, construction workers.

The Code on Social Security along with codes for Wages, Industrial Relation and Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions-- are set to be made operational from April 1, 2021. These codes subsume 29 Central laws. The government hopes these codes will make industrial environment easier and also improve ease of doing business.

Registration on portal

The draft says workers will be required to be registered with Aadhaar on self-declaration basis on the specific portal. Based on that a Unique Registration Number will be generated. This registration will be mandatory to avail benefits under Social Security Scheme and a regular updation is also required. Any worker between the age of 16-60 can opt for registration.

“The unorganised worker, or any category or sub-category of unorganised worker, shall be required to update their particulars such as current address, current occupation, mobile number, skill, or any other particular(s) from time to time In the absence of such updation, any unorganised worker may not remain eligible to avail such benefit (s) of the social security scheme(s),” the draft said. Same will be applicable for gig or platform workers.

The Code prescribes schemes for social welfare relating to life and disability cover, accident insurance, health and maternity benefits, old age protection, and crèche beside other benefits to be added from time to time. Money for the scheme may be provided by the Centre, Centre-Sate, Centre-State-Employer-Employees or from Corporate Social Responsibility Fund.

The Code talks about contribution by the aggregator at 1-2 per cent of his/her annual turnover.

Also, it should not be more than 5 per cent of amount paid to gig/platform worker. Payment should be made on the basis of self-assessment and needs to be contributed by June 30 of the current year for the preceding year.

In case of failure to meet the prescribed time-frame, an interest needs to be paid at the rate of one per cent for every month from the due date till the month in which the payment is finally made.

Benefits will be given even even if construction workers migrate to other States. The procedure for self-assessment and payment of cess in respect of building and other construction workers has been elaborated in the rules.

The rate of Interest for delayed payment of such cess has been reduced from 2 per cent every month or part of a month to 1 per cent.

Tough lclause removed

Under the existing rules, the Assessing Officer has the power to direct that no material or machinery can be removed or disturbed from the construction site. Such power for indefinitely stopping of construction work has been withdrawn in the draft rules.

Further, the assessing officer can visit the construction site only with the prior approval of the Secretary of the Building and Other Construction Workers Board.

Published on November 15, 2020

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