The unemployment rate in India reached record levels as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and has pushed India into an economic slowdown. To provide some relief in these tough times, Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has decided to offer an unemployment allowance to employees registered with the scheme.
If an employee comes under the purview of the Employees State Insurance Corporation, he/she can avail unemployment allowance under the Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana for two years even if the company he/she is working for shuts down.
The ESIC brought this Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana into effect on 1st April 2005, its aim was to provide a social security net to insured persons who become unemployed due to one or more of the following events:-
- Closure of factory/establishment
- Permanent disablement of at least 40% arising out of non-employment injury
To be eligible for benefits under this scheme an individual must be an insured person under the ESI Act on the date of loss of insurable employment. This means that an individual was an employee who was contributing to the corpus of the fund to be eligible for availing unemployment benefits. Additionally, the insured person should have contributed to the scheme for a minimum period of 5 years prior to the loss of employment on account of the above-mentioned events.
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Employees can also avail the financial assistance for three months under the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana. On 18th September 2018, the ESIC decided to provide unemployment benefits in the form of cash compensation to insured persons who have been rendered unemployed.
To be eligible for unemployment benefit under this scheme the insured person:-
- Should have been rendered unemployed during the period where relief is claimed.
- Should have been in insurable employment for a minimum period of two years immediately preceding unemployment.
- Should have contributed for not less than 78 days during each of the preceding four contribution periods.
- Contribution in respect of such an individual should have been paid or payable by the employer.
- The contingency of unemployment should not have arisen out of punishment for misconduct/superannuation or voluntary retirement.
- Insured person’s AADHAR details and bank account should be linked with the database of insured persons.
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The Employees State Insurance Corporation said that if an employee succumbs to Covid-19 then the organization will provide Rs 15,000 to their families for last rites. In case, if the employee is unable to work due to getting infected, then ESIC will continue to provide the salary.
It is also offering other facilities including free healthcare facilities to the workers and their families and partial salary. The state-run organization said that employees or their families who are fighting the virus will get free treatment in hospitals. “If the employee is treated in a private hospital, the entire amount of the expenses will be refunded,” ESIC assured. ESIC has 21 hospitals operating in the country. Out of which 3,686 covid beds are currently available. These hospitals have 229 ICU beds and 163 ventilators.