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The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948
|The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 |
The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 has been enacted with the objective of welfare of the employees and benefits in case of sickness, maternity and employment injury and certain other related matters. Articles 41, 42 and 43 of the Indian Constitution enjoin the state to make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement. The Act attempts to achieve such goal of socio-economic justice enshrined in the Directive principles of state policy under part 4 of the Constitution. The benefits extended under this Act are applicable to all employees whether working inside the factory or establishment or else where they are directly employed by the principal employee or through an intermediate agency, if the employment is incidental or in connection with the factory or establishment. The Act applies to non-seasonal, power using factories or manufacturing units employing ten or more persons and non-power using establishments employing twenty or more persons.
The comprehensive and well-designed social security programme is administered by an apex corporate body called the Employee State Insurance Corporation. It comprises members representing vital interest groups that include, employee, employers, the central and state government, besides, representatives of parliament and medical profession. The corporation is headed by the union minister of labour, as its chairman, where as, the director general, appointed by the central government functions as its chief executive officer. A standing committee constituted from amongst the members of the corporation, acts as an executive body. The medical benefit council, constituted by the central government, is yet another statuary body that advises the corporation on matters related to effective delivery of services to the beneficiary population. The corporation with its central head quarters at New Delhi operates through a network of 26 regional and sub- regional offices located in various States. The respective state governments take care of the administration of medical benefit except in case of Delhi and Noida, greater Noida areas of Uttar pradesh, where, the corporation administers medical facilities directly.
The insured employees and their dependants are entitled to the following benefits:
- Medical benefit
Full medical facilities for self and dependants are admissible from day one of joining insurable employment. Whereas, the primary, out patient, in patient and specialist services are provided through a network of panel clinics, ESI dispensaries and hospitals, super specialty services are provided through a large number of advanced empanelled medical institutions on referral basis.
- Sickness benefit [cash]
Sickness benefit is payable to an insured person in cash, in the event of sickness resulting in absence from work and duly certified by an authorised insurable medical officer/ practitioner.
- Extended sickness benefit [cash]
Extended sickness benefit is payable to insured persons for the period of certified sickness in case of the 34 long-term diseases specified in the Act which need prolonged treatment and absence from work on medical advice.
- Enhanced sickness benefit [cash]
This cash benefit is payable to insured persons in the productive age group for under going sterilisation operation, viz., vasectomy/ tubectomy.