Sunday, May 15, 2011

Discuss the concept and evolution of social security.

Discuss the concept and evolution of social security. Briefly examine the legislative measures adopted in India to ensure social security benefits to industrial workers.

The concept of social security is essentially related to the high ideals of human dignity and social justice. It is in a way one of the pillars of the Welfare State. Social Security measures have introduced an element of stability and protection in the midst of the stresses and strains of modern life.
Social security programmes are increasingly being accepted as useful and necessary instruments for the protection and stability of the labour force. It is primarily an instrument of social and economic justice. It is a dynamic concept. In content changes with the social and economic system obtaining in a given time and space. The ILO defines social security as "the protection which society provides for its members through a series of public measures, against the economic and social distress that otherwise would be caused by the stoppage or substantial reduction of earnings resulting from sickness, maternity, employment injury, unemployment, invalidity, old age, and death, the provision of medical care", and he provision of subsidies for families with children"
The term social security came into popularity after the US Government passed the Social Security Act in 1935, introducing the old age pension system. The formation of ILO in 119 to promote social justice through (0 international standards; (iOproviding information; (iii) technical assistance and guidance; and (iv) cooperation with other international organisations, provided the impetus and direction needed by most countries.
In India over he years a number of legislative measures have been adopted to ensure benefits to employees of industrial undertakings
under the scheme of social security. Let us have a look at some of
these important rules and regulations.
The Workmen's Compensation Ace, 1923
India's first social security legislation was passed in 1923. The
Workmen's Compensation Act was to provide injury compensation to
industrial workers. The Act imposes obligation on the employer to
pay compensation for accidents arising out of and in course of
employment. The Act was amended in 1962 raising the wage limit
to Rs. 400 per month, and the 1976 amendment raised the wage
limit to Rs. 1,000 per month, and a later amendment raised it to Rs.
1,600 per month.
The compensation limits in case of death were raised from Rs.
10,000 to 30,000 and for permanent and total disablement from Rs.
14,000 to 40,000 by the same amendment. The term "workmen" in
he Act refers to those employed in factories, mines, plantations,
construction work and other hazardous occupations, except those
covered by Employee State Insurance Act, 1948, and clerical
The Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948
This is a pioneering attempt to provide medical facilities and
unemployment insurance during illness o industrial workers. The
subject of health insurance for industrial workers was first discussed
in 1927 by the Indian Legislature when the applicability of the
convention adopted by the International Conference was considered
by the Government of India. The Royal Commission on Labour in its
Repot (1931) stressed the need for health insurance for workers in
The Act covers smaller factories using power and employing 10 or
more persons and those not using power but employing 20 or more
people. The Act has also been extended to the new classes of
establishments, shops hotels, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, motor transport, building construction, and newspaper establishment employing 20 or more persons. It covers all employees, manual, clerical and supervisory and employees engaged by or through contractors, whose remuneration does not exceed Rs.1600 per month. The definition of "employee" includes administrative staff and persons engaged in connection with purchase of raw materials or sale or distribution of products and related functions. The State Government is empowered to extend the Act to cover other establishments or class of establishments.
Government which implements the scheme is reimbursed to the extent of 7/8 of the expenses incurred on worker's families and 3/4 of the expenses inured in he case of workers. In order to qualify for the benefit the worker should have contributed to eh scheme for a minimum period of 12 weeks.
The benefits provided under the scheme include^ (l) Sickness and extended sickness benefit; (ii) Maternity benefit," (iii) Disablement benefit; (iv) Dependent's benefit, (v) funeral benefit; and (vi) Medical benefit.
The Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Act, 1952 The Act was passed in 1952 with the objective of making some provisions for the future of the industrial worker after he retires, for he dependants in case of his early death, and to cultivate a spirit of saving among the workers.
The Act applies to all factories and other establishments falling under any notified industry and employing 20 or more worker. Once he Act is applied, it does not cease to be applicable even if he number of employees falls below 20. The At extends to the whole of India except Jammii and Kashmir and the Assam Tea Plantations both of which had a separate Act and Scheme.
Employees' Family Pension Scheme, 1971
A Scheme of Family Pensdon-cunvlife Assurance was instituted in
1971 with the objective of providing long-term recurring financial
benefit to the family of thie member in the event of his premature death while in service. Urader the Act, the word "family" means (i) wife in the case of a male member of the family pension fund; (ii) husband in the case of a female member of the family pension fund; (iii) minor sons and unmarried daughters of a member of the family pension fund.
The Employees' Deposit-liEiked Insurance Scheme, 1976 The Act is applicable to all factories/establishments to which the Employees' Provident Funds Act applies. Where the monthly pay of an employee exceeds Rs. 1©00 per month the contribution payable in respect of him by the employer and the State Government will be limited to the amount pay table on a monthly pay of Rs.1600. The special feature of the scheme is that only the employer and the government make contributions to he scheme and not the employee himself. The employer is required to contribute to the Insurance Fund at the rate of 0.5 percent of the pay of the employees who are provident fund subscribers. The Central Government also contributes to the Insurance Fund an amount representing one half of the amount contributed bsy the employer. The Maternity Benefit Acti, 1961
The Act is applicable to all establishments not covered under the ESI Scheme. The Act was amended in 1976 to extend the benefits to all women workers earnang more than Rs. 600 per month in establishments covered by the ESI Act.
Under the Act, a woman can get maternity leave upto 12 weeks. Of this, 6 weeks must be taken prior to the delivery of the child and 6 weeks immediately followiing that date. During the period of leave
the employee is entitled to full wage/salary. The employee is also entitled to a medical bonus of Rs. 25 if no pre-natal confinement and post-natal care has been provided by the employer free of charge. To avail of the leave and benefits, the employee should have put in 160 working days of service in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of expected delivery. The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972
Gratuity is an additional retirement benefit. The Act is applicable to all factories, mines , oil-fields, plantations, ports, railways, shops or establishments in which 10 or more workers are employed. The Central Government can bring in any establishment by notification under the provisions of the Act.
According to the Act, and employee is entitled to 15 days wages for every years continuance in service. Seasonal workers should be paid gratuity at the rate of 7 days wages per season. The total gratuity payable shall not exceed more than 20 months wages. The Act applies to workers who do not have nay managerial or administrative capacity or are employed under the government and do not draw wages of more than Rs. 1600 per month. Gratuity is payable on termination of employment after the completion of at least five years of continuous service. This is relaxable in the case of death or disablement.

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