Labour Codes: Code on Social Security, 2020_00.1
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Labour Codes: Code on Social Security, 2020

 

We have already covered Code on Wages, and Code on Industrial Relations. In this article, we will discuss some of the important features of the Code on Social Security 2020.

The Code on Social Security, 2020 states that the central government may apply the Code to any establishment (subject to size-threshold as may be notified).

 

Unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers.

  • The Code makes provisions for registration of all three categories of workers – unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers.
  • It makes the following changes for unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers:
    • The central government will set up Social Security Fund.
    • Further, state governments will also set up and administer separate social security funds for unorganised workers.
    • Gig workers refer to workers outside the traditional employer-employee relationship. Example- freelancers.
    • Platform workers are those who access organisations or individuals through an online platform and provide services or solve specific problems. Example- Uber (ride-based); Zomato (food-based) etc.
    • National Social Security for gig workers and platform workers.

 

National Social Security Board

  • It will act as the Board for the purposes of welfare of unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers.
  • It can also recommend and monitor schemes for gig workers and platform workers.
  • The Board will comprise of a different set of members including:
    • five representatives of aggregators, nominated by the central government,
    • five representatives of gig workers and platform workers, nominated by the central government
    • Director General of the ESIC, and
    • five representatives of state governments.
  • The schemes for gig workers and platform workers may be funded through a combination of contributions from the central government, state governments, and aggregators.

 

Aggregators

  • There are nine categories of aggregators in Schedule 7 of the Code, including ride sharing services, food and grocery delivery services, content and media services, and e-marketplaces.
  • Any contribution from such an aggregator may be at a rate notified by the government falling between 1-2% of the annual turnover of the aggregators.
  • Such contributions, however, cannot exceed 5% of the amount paid or payable by an aggregator to gig workers and platform workers.

 

Expansion of certain definitions

  • Employees’ now include workers employed through contractors.
  • Inter-state migrant workers” now include self-employed workers from another state,
  • Platform worker” include additional categories of services or activities as may be notified by the government,
  • Audio-visual productions include films, web-based serials, talk shows, reality shows and sports shows, and
  • The Code reduces the gratuity period from five years to three years for working journalists.

 

Appeals

  • An aggrieved party could not file for a review against the orders passed by the authorised officers regarding issues like Provident Funds.

 

Offences and penalties

  • The maximum imprisonment for obstructing an inspector from performing his duty is six months.
  • Similarly, the penalty for unlawfully deducting the employer’s contribution from the employee’s wages is a fine of Rs 50,000.

 

Composition of boards for unorganised workers

  • The members of Central Government in the National Social Security Board for unorganised workers are 10 among the 42 members

 

Additional powers during an epidemic

  • The central government may defer or reduce the employer’s or employee’s contributions (under PF and ESI) for a period of up to three months in the case of a pandemic, endemic, or national disaster.

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