The Ministry of Labour and Employment on Sunday announced additional benefits for workers through social securities schemes run by the EPFO and the ESIC amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Ministry of Labour and Employment has announced additional benefits for workers through ESIC and EPFO schemes to address the fear and anxiety of workers about well being of their family members due to increase in incidences of death due to COVID-19 pandemic,” a ministry statement said
According to the statement issued by the ministry, after death or disablement of the Insured Person ESIC due to employment injury, a pension equivalent to 90 per cent of average daily wage drawn by the worker is available to all dependent family members of Insured Persons who have been registered in the online portal of the ESIC prior to their diagnosis of COVID disease and subsequent death due to the disease, will be entitled to receive the same benefits and in the same scale as received by the dependents of insured persons who die as a result of employment injury. The enhance social security is sought to be provided to the worker without additional cost to the employer, the statement said.
Till now, the above rule of payment of pension is applicable only spouse and widowed mother of the deceased worker were eligible for the pension for life long and for children till they attain the age of 25 years.For the female child, the benefit is available till her marriage.
The addition facility now announced is subject to following two conditions.
- The Insured Person must have been registered on the ESIC online portal at least three months prior to the diagnosis of COVID disease resulting in death.
- The Insured Person must have been employed for wages and contributions for at least 78 days should have been paid or payable in respect of deceased IP during a period of one year immediately preceding the diagnosis of COVID disease resulting in death.
The scheme will be effective for a period of two years from March 24, 2020.
With effect from 28.04.2021, the EPFO has increased this amount to the maximum benefit to Rs.7 lakh with effect from 28.04.2021(Earlier maximum benefit was Rs.6 lakh). The nominee of the deceased employee will be given the insured amount if he/she dies while in employment continuous period of 12 months proceeding the month in which he/she died, irrespective of change of establishment during the said period. It will benefit contractual/casual labourers were losing out on benefits due to condition of continuous one year in one establishment, the ministry explained.The ministry has also restored provision of minimum 2.5 lakh compensation retrospectively, i.e., from 15th February 2020.