HYDERABAD: The Union Labour Ministry will launch a social security scheme soon for domestic workers on pilot basis in Delhi and Hyderabad as part of its commitment to provide health insurance for all, Union minister for labour and employment Bandaru Dattatreya said.
“We will roll out a new scheme to bring domestic workers under the ESI fold. This scheme intends to provide ESI facilities to domestic workers. Employers need to contribute Rs 200 monthly towards the scheme enabling medical facilities for domestic workers,” Dattatreya told reporters here.
The ministry decided to start the scheme soon as pilot project in Delhi and Hyderabad. Dattatreya said they will involve NGOs also and will also talk to state governments to make the scheme better.
Reiterating the government’s commitment to bring all the unorganised sector workers under social security schemes, he said the process has begun to include around five crore construction workers to provide them with EPF and ESI facilities.
Shedding more light on the recently passed bill in Rajya Sabha extending 26 weeks of maternity leave to women, Dattatreya on Sunday said employers violating the new law could face imprisonment.
“If any employer does not comply, they will face a fine anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 20,000 or three months to a year of imprisonment,” Dattatreya said. “Women, through the Maternity Benefit Act, will now get 26 weeks paid leave. Previously, they used to get just 12 weeks.
Adopting mothers and surrogate mothers will now get 12 weeks maternity leave. If the health of women is still affected after 26 weeks after pregnancy she can work from home, but to work from home she will need approval of her employer,” added Dattatreya.
This will help women in the country contribute more to the Indian economy, he added. Speaking on the Factories Amendment Bill, the minister said, “The Employees Compensation Act penalties have been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 50,000. Compensations below Rs 1,000 will now be handled by the commissioners.”