House panel seeks inclusion of migrants in social security code
The panel has also sought an expansion in the definition of migrant workers, adding that the proposed social security fund must cover all workers who are not covered under provident fund or Employees’ State Insurance.Updated: Jul 30, 2020 08:24 IST
The Parliamentary labour committee asked for the universalization of social security to cover migrant workers and the unorganized domestic workers even as it adopted a report on the much-awaited Social Security Code on Wednesday.
The parliamentary committee, led by Biju Janata Dal leader Bhartruhari Mahtab, demanded the creation of an unemployment insurance or social security fund which can come handy for workers at the time of job losses—which has also happened because of the coronavirus disease pandemic—and special social security numbers for migrant workers so they can avail the benefits of government schemes.
The panel has also sought an expansion in the definition of migrant workers, adding that the proposed social security fund must cover all workers who are not covered under provident fund or Employees’ State Insurance.
While there are social support measures such as MGNREGA for rural workers, the social security fund can provide immediate financial help if an unorganized sector worker loses job. The panel has also expanded unorganized sector to include workers who are hired through contractors, those who join a factory directly and the self-employed workers.
According to two members of the panel, the social security fund or the unemployment fund can be created with contribution from employers and employees, through donations and even using CSR funds. “This fund can be helpful for workers in case of job losses and in situation arising out Covid-like situations,” a panel member said.
Meanwhile, the code, one of the four key measures of labour sector reforms, face opposition from CPI(M)’s Elamaram Kareem and a DMK member, who are also likely to push a dissent note to register their protest.
According to a senior leader, DMK’s D Ravikumar, K Subbarayan of CPI and a Congress leader demanded that the meeting on Wednesday should be deferred as many people could not attend due to Covid-related reasons.
According to government estimates, 1.09 crore migrant workers have returned home in the past three months after the pandemic swept India. A portable social security number for India’s unorganized workforce is a key issue for the labour committee.