Year End Review 2018: Ministry of Labour & Employment
The Ministry of Labour and Employment is committed towards job security, wage security and social security for each and every worker. Along with bringing transparency and accountability in enforcement of Labour Laws, the Ministry has taken important initiatives during the year,to realize and establish the dignity of every worker through provision of social security, enhancing the avenues and quality of employment.
- Major Achievements in Labour Welfare:
Labour Codes: In line with recommendations of Second National Commission on Labour, the Ministry has taken steps for formulating of four Labour Codes on (i) Wages; (ii) Industrial Relations; (iii) Social Security & Welfare; and (iv) Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions by amalgamating, simplifying, and rationalizing the relevant provisions of the existing Central Labour Laws.
Code on Wages Bill: The Draft Code on Wages Bill, 2017 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha on 10.08.2017 and is being examined by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour. The report of the Standing Committee is being awaited.
Code on Industrial Relations: To introduce the proposal of Labour Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2018 in the Parliament, draft Note for the Cabinet along with the Labour Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2018 was circulated on 08.02.2018 for Inter-Ministerial consultation for seeking views/comments thereon. After examining the received comments of Ministries/Departments, the draft Code on Industrial Relations has been suitably modified. After vetting the Code by Legislative Department, Ministry of Law & Justice, the draft Cabinet Note alongwith the Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2018 has been sent to Cabinet Secretariat on 05.11.2018 for consideration.
Code on Social Security & Welfare: A preliminary draft of the Code on Social Security & Welfare was placed on the website of the Ministry on 16.03.2017, inviting comments of the stakeholders / public. After considering the comments of various stakeholders, a revised draft namely draft Code on Social Security and Welfare, 2018 was uploaded on the website of this Ministry on 01.03.2018 seeking suggestions/comments from stakeholders/public. A Tripartite Consultation Meeting to discuss the Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare Bill, 2018 has been held on 27.11.2018 with Central Trade Union Organizations, the Employer’ Associations and the State Governments/UTs under Chairmanship of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment. The draft Note for the Cabinet along with the Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare Bill, 2018 has also been circulated recently for Inter-Ministerial consultation.
Code on Occupational Safety Health & Working Conditions: Preliminary draft of the Code on Occupational Safety Health & Working Conditions was prepared and placed on the website of the Ministry on 23.03.2018 for inviting comments/suggestions of the stakeholders including general public. A Tripartite Consultation Meeting was held on 22.11.2018 with Central Trade Union Organizations, the Employer’ Associations and the State Governments/UTs under Chairmanship of Minister of State (Independent Charge), Labour and Employment to discuss the draft Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Bill, 2018. The draft Cabinet Note alongwith the draft Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Bill, 2018 has been circulated for Inter-Ministerial consultation recently.
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. The facilities available to establishments on Shram Suvidha Portal as on today include:
- Transparent Labour Inspection Scheme through computerized system based on risk based criteria and uploading the inspection reports within 72 hours by the Labour inspectors. The time period for uploading the reports has been reduced to 48 hrs since 05.11.2018.
- Common Registration for ESIC and EPFO,
- Common ECR for ESIC & EPFO,
- Single Annual online return for 8 Central laws and 3 returns under the Mines Act, 1952.
- Online licensing under the Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act, 1970 and the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 besides the Labour Inspection Scheme for enforcement agencies.
- Online Registration by Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) under three Acts i.e 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 Conditions of Service) Act, 1996.
Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 which came into force from 1st April 2017: Increased paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks and has benefited 18 Lakh women employees.Recently Government proposed to bear 7 weeks of salary to motivate employers. This policy will be finalised after approval by the competent forum.
The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2018 passed by Lok Sabha on 15th March, 2018 and by the Rajya Sabha on 22nd March, 2018, has been brought in force on 29th March, 2018. The present upper ceiling on gratuity amount under the Act has been raised from Rs. 10 Lakh, to Rs. 20 Lakhs.
MoU for Ship Recycling Industry: The Directorate General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes (DGFASLI) and Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) in Alang on 11-7-2018. The MOU will bring positive changes in working of ship recycling industry and will improve safety and health of the workers and supervisors who are employed in large number in Alang.
MoU signed for international cooperation in the social and labour sphere:
The Union Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China, South Africa, regarding Cooperation in the Social and Labour Sphere. The MoU was signed on 3rd August, 2018 during BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers (LEM) Meeting.
The MoU provides a mechanism for cooperation, collaboration and maximum synergy amongst BRICS member countries with the common objective of inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the new industrial revolution. This would facilitate member countries to share knowledge and also implement joint programmes on .matter of Labour and Employment, Social Security and Social dialogue. Another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Italy for training and education in the fields of Labour and Employment.
Worker’s Education Programme: Dattopant Thengadi National Board For Workers Education and Development organized 899 training programmes for organized sector workers, 2733 training programmes for unorganized sector workers and 670 training programmes for rural workers including MGNAREGA.
Public Grievances Redressal: 33,680 Grievances were received in the Ministry of Labour and Employment during 01.01.2018 to 30.11.2018. Out of these, 32,837 grievances were disposed through CPGRAMS (Centralized Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System) Portal.
Step Taken for improved Safety of Mine workers:
- Under the provisions of the Mines Act 1952, Permissions, exemptions, relaxations and approvals etc.; were earlier being issued on submission of offline applications by the stakeholders. In view of the Digital India initiative, three software modules namely “Approval System”, “Permission/ Exemption/Relaxation System” and “National Safety Award (Mines) System” have been developed and made live. Two more softwares namely “Accidents & Statistics System” and “Accounts & Budget System” have been developed as a part of “Digital DGMS”. They are under testing. The software modules will bring in more transparency & accountability and speedy disposal of works.
- The modalities for “Risk-based Inspection System” for coal mines have been developed. The software for the purpose has been developed by NIC and implemented by incorporating it in Shram Suvidha Portal. Risk-based inspection system for metalliferous mines is under progress and shall be developed during 2018-19. The inspections will be generated for online assignment through shram suvidha portal prioritizing on the actual risk rating of the mines of all categories.
- Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) has facilitated Risk Assessment Study & preparation of Safety Management Plan in 110 Mines. The system has resulted in more proactive system of safety management.
- Under a joint project with National Institute of Miners’ Health (NIMH) Nagpur on “Multi-Centric Study of Dust Related Disease in Stone Mines and Development of Sustainable Preventive Programme”, field studies were successfully conducted in Nalgonda district of Telengana and Karauli, Dholpur, Jodhpur, Nagaur and Bharatpur districts of Rajasthan, Vidisha district in MP and Birbhum district in WB. 2539 workers have been medically examined and 136 cases of silicosis affected persons were identified.
- Occupational health survey of 9863 persons employed in unorganized sector stone mines were conducted by DGMS in various regions of different states with the help of respective state administration. 211 cases of silicosis affected persons were identified.
Fixed Term Employment:
Ministry of Labour & Employment has included the category of ‘Fixed Term Employment Workman’ for all sectors in the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 and rules made there under vide Notification No. G.S.R. 235(E) issued on 16.3.2018. The objective of Fixed Term Employment on one hand is to provide flexibility to the employers in order to meet the challenges of globalization, new practices and methods of doing businesses while on the other, this would be beneficial for workers as it gives the ‘FTE Workman’ the same statutory benefits as that of regular workers in a proportionate manner. This would also substantially decrease exploitation of contract workers as the employer would directly hire the worker without any mediator in the form of contract for a fixed term.
II. Major Steps Taken by EPFO:
- In February 2018, an online functionality for filing nomination (Form 2) to the members at Member interface of Unified Portal was provided. In online nomination, Aadhaar based eSign is being used to authenticate the nomination submitted by member. Hence, there is no need for employer’s undertaking that nomination has been signed before him/her. As on 10.10.2018, 26,885 online e-nominations have been approved.
- A pensioners’ portal was launched in March 2018 through which all EPFO pensioners can get details of pension related information like pension payment order number, pensioner’s payment order details, pensioner’s passbook information and pension credited date and details of pensioner’s life certificate submission including Jeevan Pramaan Digital Life Certification information.
- At the time of registration of an establishment, employer has to upload digitally signed copy of PAN card. To eliminate the requirement of submitting scanned copy of PAN card at the time of registration, an online system has been put in place for verifying details of PAN directly from the Income Tax Department. 80,706 employers have used this facility as on 10.10.2018.
- For facilitating Ease of Doing Business, an online functionality for calculation and payment of damages under Section 14 B and interest under Section 7Q of Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provision Act for the belated remittances has been launched. Earlier, the notices were sent to the employers for payment under these Sections. Under the new functionality, the employer himself can select the cases of belated remittances to make payment immediately where auto challans showing the dues will be generated for payment without requiring the employer to visit EPFO field offices.
- In order to facilitate the employers, the requirement of submission of hard copy of Form 5A has been replaced by online submission of Form 5A by establishments with digital/e- signatures by employers. As on 10.10.2018, 5,873 employers have used this facility.
- Under Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY), the Government of India is now paying full employer’s contribution (EPF and EPS both) with effect from 1st April, 2018 for a period of three years to the new employees as well as to the existing beneficiaries for their remaining period of three years. Before 1stApril, 2018, the Government was paying under PMRPY only the EPS share (8.33% of the wages) out of the total employer’s share of contribution (12% of the wages).
- In order to ensure that the employers, especially contractors, pay contribution towards provident fund for the full working period of an employee and not on very low unrealistic wages, a tool for monitoring the above issues, namely, wage analysis report, has been provided in Central Analysis & Intelligence Unit (CAIU) dashboard. Through this tool, field functionaries can see the analysis of wages for establishments in respect of their Zones / Regional Offices and ensure that, wherever required, the verification of details furnished by employers in monthly returns (ECR) is done so that there is correct reporting and full compliance in respect of individual employees.
- The rate of administrative charges were reduced from 0.65% to 0.50% of the pay towards EPF Scheme 1952 subject to minimum sum of seventy –five rupees per month for every non-functional establishment having no contributory member and five hundred rupees per month per establishment for other establishments.
- A new functionality has been introduced to rectify cases of rejection of Digital Life Certificates (DLCs) due to incorrect Aadhaar number seeded against PPOs. This functionality is aimed to reduce grievances of pensioners and provide hassle free services to them.
- A new functionality for rejection of erroneously processed intra – office transfer claims and reprocessing the claims with correct details was started on 05.10.2018 to streamline the process of claim settlement and ensure better delivery of services to subscribers.
- Online Nomination (e-Nomination), linking of UAN with AADHAAR through UMANG APP and online linking of UAN with AADHAAR in EKYC PORTAL using Bio-metric credentials was introduced.
- EPFO presently covers 190 industries (mentioned in the schedule 1 of the EPF Act) with over 20 crore accounts in over 11.3 lakh covered establishments.
- For EPFO’s 63.2 lakh pensioners, 55.3 lakh Jeevan Praman have been received as on 29 October 2018 and 49.4 lakh have been approved.
- As on 11.10.2018, 47,50,315 claims (Form 19, 10C and 31) were received online from members having Aadhaar seeded activated UAN out of which 34,24,063 were settled.
- As on 10.10.2018, 23,75,369 members have used ‘Track UAN functionality’ to find ot the status of Aadhaar linked to their UAN.
- As on 11.10.2018, 2,92,970 Aadhaar based e-signs have been used by the employers. E-sign is a user-friendly online electronic signature service whereby authorized signatory of the establishment whose DSC is already registered can directly activate their e-sign by provided Aadhaar number at Unified Portal to sign documents.
- As on 11.10.2018, 1,52,272 claims have been field through UMANG App.
III. Major Steps Taken by ESIC
Dispensary-cum-Branch Office (DCBO): To strength its services delivery mechanism, ESIC has started establishing at least one contact point in every district of the country in phased manner in the form ofDispensary-cum-Branch Office (DCBO) to provide the primary medical services and cash benefits delivery.
Modified Employer’s Utilization Dispensary (Modified EUD): The decision for establishing Modified Employer’s Utilization Dispensary (Modified EUD) on pilot basis has also been taken, with the objective of strengthening of stake holder’s participation in the expansion of primary care services of ESIC. Premises will be hired suitably for setting up of dispensary, preferably in the vicinity of clusters of residential area of IPs. ESIC will provide furniture, equipments and medicines. Employer will appoint manpower and supervise the functioning of dispensary.
ATAL BIMIT VYAKTI KALYAN YOJANA: Considering the change in employment pattern and the current scenario of employment in India which has transformed from a long term employment to short term engagement in form of contract and temping, the ESI Corporation has approved a Scheme named “ATAL BIMIT VYAKTI KALYAN YOJANA” for Insured Persons (IPs) covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948. This scheme is a relief payable in cash directly to their Bank Account in case of unemployment and while they search for new engagement.
Modified Insurance Medical Practitioner (IMP) Scheme, 2018: ESI Corporation has also given in principal approval to Modified Insurance Medical Practitioner (IMP) Scheme, 2018 to make IMP Scheme more attractive on pilot basis. The Scheme may further be expanded in the new areas as well as existing areas as per need. In area, where ESI does not have its medical establishment, or in newly implemented area, Primary Medical Care is provided cash less through tie up arrangement, with Insurance Medical Practitioner (IMP).Earlier IMPs used to be normally appointed by the Director Insurance Medical Scheme (DIMS), ESI Scheme and were paid Rs. 500/- per Insured Person per year which included consultation, basic lab investigation and cost of medicines.
- Under Modified Scheme, IMP will prescribe medicines as per available medical list (drawn from national essential list of medicine and basic investigations) in the health passbook with signature and upload image of prescription in the app.
- In addition through Mobile App, the IMP may recommend sickness benefit of
7 days in a spell up to maximum period of 30 days in a year, subject to remote verification of such recommendation by medical referee/DCBO doctor, the benefit would be remitted in the bank account of IP.
“UMANG: ESIC – Chinta Se Mukti” Mobile App:
IP centric information services are now made available through ‘ESIC – Chinta Se Mukti’ mobile app launched through UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) platform. The IP, who has registered his mobile number in ESIC database, can access variety of information through this app downloaded free of cost from Google Play Store on multiple channels like mobile application, web, etc., and can be accessed through smartphones, tablets and desktops, etc.
With a simple mobile based authentication system, the IP can know about his personal and enrolled family demographic details, Contribution details, Insurance & eligibility details, information on entitled Benefits, Claim Status, Dispensary and Branch Office to which he is associated, etc. He can submit his feedback and avail services through this app. In addition, there is a knowledge bank pertaining to various benefits of ESI scheme. In due course, the App shall be made available in 13 different Indian languages including Hindi and English.
Extending coverage of social Security net of ESI Scheme (under ESIC 2.0)
- As per of its 2nd Generation Reforms ESIC-2.0, the ESI Corporation has decided to implement the ESI Scheme all over India. Accordingly, the ESI Scheme has already been implemented fully in 325 districts and partially in 178.
- As part of extending the social security benefits of ESI Scheme in the entire country, the scheme has been notified in all states and Union Territories except Arunachal Pradesh & Lakshadeep Islands. ESI Scheme is now in 36 States/Union Territories.
- The number of Insured Persons covered under the ESI Schemes on 31.03.18 has increased to 3.43 crores. The number of beneficiaries covered under Scheme has gone up to 13.32 crores.
- The number of factories and establishments covered by the end of the year had gone up to about 10.34 lakh.
IV. MAJOR STEPS TO FACILITATE EMPLOYMENT GENERATION:
i. National Career Service (NCS): National Career Service Project brings employers, trainers and unemployed on single platform. As many as 98,92,350 active job seekers and 9,822 active employers are on the portal as on 30.11.2018. NCS has partnered with Department of Posts to extend registration of job seekers through the Post Offices. To enhance the reach and enrich the employment opportunities available to youth, strategic MOUs have been signed with leading job portals, placement organizations and institutions of repute. Government of India has recently made it mandatory for government vacancies to be posted on the NCS Portal.
The NCS provides a variety of employment related services like job matching, career counselling, information on skill development courses, apprenticeship, internships etc. The NCS makes available a rich repository of career content on over 3600 occupations across 52 sectors. The NCS Portal also facilitates organization of job fairs where both employers and job seekers can interact.
ii. Model Career Centres: 107 Model Career Centres have been established and being operationalised in collaboration with states and other institutions. These Centres will have adequate facilities and infrastructure for delivery of various services to the stakeholders and can be subsequently replicated by states at other locations. In addition, all the 1.5 lakh plus Common Service Centres are strategic partners for extending the reach of NCS to remote locations.
iii. Quarterly Employment surveys (New Series):
- Labour Bureau initiated QES (New series) by extending scope and coverage with the objective to measure relative change in employment situation over successive quarters in sizeable segment of Non-farm Industrial economy covering 8 major sectors viz. Manufacturing, Construction, Trade, Transport, Education, Health, Accommodation & Restaurants and IT/BPO having 10 or more workers.
- So far, seven reports pertaining to QES (NS) have been released.
iv. Occupational Wage Survey (OWS):
- Labour Bureau has been conducting Occupational Wage Surveys at periodic intervals to facilitate generation of data on different components of pay roll earnings for different occupations for scientific studies of inter-industry and intra-industry differentials in earnings in Plantation, Mining, Manufacturing and Service sector Industries.
- The field work under the 7th round of OWS covering 56 industries has been completed. So far, four reports of 7th round of OWS in respect of Mining sector, Plantation Sector Industries, Five Textile Industries and Textile Garments Industry have been released.
v. Area Frame Survey:
- Considering the importance of Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) due to its periodicity, results and coverage, it was decided by the Ministry of Labour and Employment to conduct Area Frame Survey (AFS) on a large scale across all the states/UTs by covering enterprises employing less than 10 workers so that findings of the survey are reflective of the trends in employment for the non-farm sectors of the economy.
- The preliminary work for conducting the Area Frame Survey has been completed. Pilot survey (pretesting of schedules) has also been completed in Odisha and the Pilot Survey in the states of Haryana and Gujarat is currently in progress.
vi. Survey on Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna:
- Labour Bureau has been entrusted by the Ministry of Labour & Employment to conduct the survey to estimate the employment generated under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna (PMMY).
- After finalization of technical details pertaining to the PMMY Survey, the preliminary work of the survey was completed and the field work was launched in April, 2018. The field work for PMMY survey has been completed on 30th November, 2018 and data entry work is presently in progress.