L&E Minister: Implementing Social Security Code A Priority

No timeline for rolling out 4 labour codes yet

Implementing the Code on Social Security, 2020 and bringing the maximum number of workers under the ambit of social security schemes were the top priorities of the government, according to Labour and Employment Minister Bhupender Yadav.

Mr. Yadav told The Hindu on Tuesday that the focus on expanding social security schemes would be discussed during the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation’s meeting on Friday. Mr. Yadav, who was inducted into the Cabinet during the expansion in July, said the task ahead for him and the Ministry would be to ensure that the benefits of the Code on Social Security “reach the poor and downtrodden”. Among the features of the social security code is the expansion of benefits under the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to gig and platform workers.

“The need of the hour is that a large number of workers must come under the ambit of social security schemes,” Mr. Yadav said.

The social security code, which along with codes on wages, industrial relations and occupational safety were passed in 2019 and 2020, is yet to be implemented as the rules framed under the Act have not been notified. Asked when the four labour codes would be implemented, Mr. Yadav declined to comment on a timeline.

According to Labour Ministry sources, the rules framed under the four codes are ready to be notified and States are in the process of notifying their own rules for the same. Earlier in the year, Labour and Employment Secretary Apurva Chandra had said the rules would be ready before April 1. Officials have since then not commented on when the rules would be notified. A Ministry source said once notified, the rules would take some time to be executed and employers would likely be given three months to comply with the provisions.

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