COVID 19Legislation UpdatesNotifications

Extension of time in filing ESI contribution

As a relief measure, the period for filing ESI contribution for the month of February and March was earlier extended to 15th April and 15th May, respectively. Now, considering the hardship being faced by employers, the period for filing ESI contribution for the month of February has been further extended from earlier extended period i.e. 15th April to 15th May, 2020.

No penalty or interest or damage will be levied on establishments during the extended period.

Besides these, following relief measures have been undertaken for Insured Persons and Beneficiaries:-

  1. In order to ease hardship of ESI Beneficiaries, purchase of medicines by ESI beneficiaries from private chemists during the lockdown period and its subsequent reimbursement by ESIC has been permitted.
  2. A provision has also been made for providing medical services to Insured Persons (IPs) and beneficiaries from Tie-up Hospitals, if an ESIC Hospital is declared as a dedicated Covid-19 Hospital to cater exclusively to Corona suspected/confirmed cases. ESI beneficiaries can be referred to tie-up Hospitals for providing prescribed secondary/SST consultation/admission/ investigation, during the period for which concerned ESIC Hospital functions as dedicated Covid-19 Hospital. ESI Beneficiary may also seek Emergency/non-Emergency medical treatment from tie-up hospital directly without referral letter, in accordance with his entitlement.
  3. Medical Benefit is provided under Rule 60-61 to the Insured persons who cease to be in insurable employment on account of permanent disablement and to the retired Insured Persons, on payment of advance lump-sum contribution for a year at the rate of Rs.10/- per month. Under the prevailing circumstances of lockdown, there may be cases where validity of the medical benefit cards issued to these beneficiaries expire as these beneficiaries are unable to deposit the advance annual lump-sum contribution due to lockdown. Such beneficiaries have been allowed to avail medical benefit under Rule 60 and 61 of ESI (Central Rules) till 30.06.2020.
  4. The payment of Rs 41.00 crore (approx.) in respect of Permanent Disablement Benefit and Dependants’ Benefit have been sent to the bank accounts of beneficiaries in the month of March, 2020.

Employees State Insurance Corporation

[Press release dt. 14-04-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Keeping in view the pandemic in the form of “Corona Virus”  (COVID-19) in the country, the Director General has relaxed the provision as entered in regulations 26 & 31 of ‘The Employees’ State Insurance (General) Regulations , 1950′. The proviso of regulation 31 shall be read as 45 days instead of 15 days for the contribution payable for the month of February & March 2020 only.

The ESI Contribution for the month of February & March 2020 can be filed & paid up to 15-04-2020 instead of 15-03-2020 & 15-04-2020 respectively.

Employees State Insurance Corporation

[Notice dt. 16-03-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

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]

[Source: PIB]

Ministry of Labour & Employment