The Government of India has taken a historic decision to reduce the rate of contribution under the ESI Act from 6.5% to 4%(employers’ contribution being reduced from 4.75% to 3.25% and employees’ contribution being reduced from 1.75% to 0.75%. Reduced rates will be effective from 01-07-2019 This would benefit 3.6 crore employees and 12.85 lakh, employees.
The reduced rate of contribution will bring about a substantial relief to workers and it will facilitate further enrollment of workers under the ESI scheme and bring more and more workforce into the formal sector. Similarly, reduction in the share of contribution of employers will reduce the financial liability of the establishments leading to improved viability of these establishments. This shall also lead to enhanced Ease of Doing Business. It is also expected that the reduction in the rate of ESI contribution shall lead to improved compliance of law.
About the Employees’ State Insurance Act,1948 :
The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 (the ESI Act) provides for medical, cash, maternity, disability and dependent benefits to the Insured Persons under the Act. The ESI Act is administered by Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). Benefits provided under the ESI Act are funded by the contributions made by the employers and the employees.
Under the ESI Act, employers and employees both contribute their shares respectively. The Government of India through the Ministry of Labour and Employment decides the rate of contribution under the ESI Act. Presently, the rate of contribution is fixed at 6.5% of the wages with employers’ share being 4.75% and employees’ share being 1.75%. This rate is in vogue since 01-01-1997.
In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 95 of the said Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948, the Central Government, after consultation with the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, hereby makes the following rules further to amend the Employees’ State Insurance (Central) Rules, 1950, namely:-
1. (1) These rules may be called the Employee’s State Insurance (Central) Amendment Rules, 2019;
(2) They shall come into force on the 1st day of July, 2019.
2. In the Employees’ State Insurance (Central) Rules, 1950, in Rule 51, –
(a) in clause (a), for the words “equal to four and three-fourth per cent of the wages”, the words “equal to three and one-fourth per cent. of the wages” shall be substituted;
(b) in clause (b), for the words “equal to one and three-fourth per cent of the wages”, the words “equal to three-fourth per cent. of the wages” shall be substituted.
[Press Release dt. 13-06-2019]
Ministry of Labour & Employment