The Ministry of Labour and Employment on 30 May 2021 announced additional benefits for workers through social security schemes run by the EPFO and the ESIC amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These benefits include pension for dependents of insured persons with Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) who died due to COVID-19 and hike in maximum sum assured under the group insurance scheme Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI), run by Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), to Rs 7 lakh from Rs 6 lakh.

What

  1. The Ministry of Labour and Employment has announced additional benefits for workers through ESIC and EPFO schemes to address the fear and anxiety of workers about the wellbeing of their family members due to increase in incidences of death due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Enhanced social security is sought to be provided to the workers without any additional cost to the employer.
  3. Currently, for the insured persons (IPs) under the ESIC, after death or disablement of the IP due to employment injury, a pension equivalent to 90 per cent of average daily wage drawn by the worker is available to the spouse and widowed mother for life long and for children till they attain the age of 25 years.
  4. For the female child, the benefit is available till her marriage.
  5. First condition is that the IP must have been registered on the ESIC online portal at least three months prior to the diagnosis of COVID disease resulting in death.
  6. Secondly, the IP must have been employed for wages and contributions for at least 78 days should have been paid or payable in respect of deceased IP during a period of one year immediately preceding the diagnosis of COVID disease resulting in death.
  7. The IPs, who fulfil the eligibility conditions, and have died due to COVID disease, their dependents will be entitled to receive monthly payment at the rate of 90 per cent of average daily wages of the insured person during their life.
  8. The scheme will be effective for a period of two years from 24 March 2020.
  9. Under the EPFO's Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme, all surviving dependent family members of the members of this scheme are eligible to avail benefits of EDLI in case of death in harness of the member.
  10. At present under this scheme, the benefits extended in case of death of a worker are no requirement of minimum service for payment of Gratuity, family pension is paid as per provisions under EPF & MP Act, sickness benefit of 70 percent of wages for 91 days in a year is paid in the event of worker falling sick and not attending office.