ESIC relaxes norms to pay 50% of average wages of 3 months as unemployment benefit

Prime News, National, Labour, Employment, Finance, Insurance, New Delhi, August 21:- The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) relaxed norms to pay 50 per cent of average wages of three months as unemployment benefit between March 24 and December 31 this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ESIC took the decision at its 182nd meeting held on Thursday (August 20) under the Chairmanship of Union Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar.

ESIC is implementing the Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyna Yojna under which unemployment benefit is paid to the workers covered under Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme.

The ESIC has decided to extend the scheme for one more year up to June 30, 2021. It has been decided to relax the existing conditions and the amount of relief for workers who have lost employment during the Covid-19 pandemic period. The enhanced relief under the relaxed conditions will be payable during the period of March 24 to December 31 this year.

Thereafter the scheme will be available with original eligibility conditions during the period between January 1 and June 30, 2021. Review of these conditions will be done after December 31, depending upon the need and demand for such relaxed conditions.

Eligibility criteria relaxed

The eligibility criteria for availing the relief has also been relaxed. The payment of relief has been enhanced to 50 per cent of average wages from earlier 25 percent of average wages payable up to maximum 90 days of unemployment. Instead of the relief becoming payable 90 days after unemployment, it shall become due for payment after 30 days.

The Insured Person (IP) can submit the claim directly to the ESIC branch office instead of the claim being forwarded by the last employer and the payment shall be made directly in the bank account of IP. The Insured Person should have been insurable employment for a minimum period of 2 years before his/her employment and should have contributed for not less than 78 days in the contribution period immediately preceding to unemployment and minimum 78 days in one of the remaining 3 contribution periods in 2 years prior to unemployment.

During the meeting, ESIC also took some important decisions towards improvement in its service delivery mechanism and providing relief to workers hit by the pandemic. The decisions include establishment of ICU/HDU (Intensive care unit) services up to 10 percent of total commissioned beds at all ESIC Hospitals.

Around 60 members of the corporation including employers’ representatives, employees’ representatives, professional experts and representatives of the state government participated in the meeting through video conference. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)

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