Domestic Workers

Code on Social Security Bill, 2019

  • Introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, but not yet passed.
  • It replaces nine laws related to social security, including the Employees’ Provident Fund Act, 1952, the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, and the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008.
  • Social security schemes
    • Under the Code, the central government may notify various social security schemes for the benefit of workers.  These include an Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Scheme, an Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), and an Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) Scheme. 
    • The government may also notify: (i) an Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme to provide sickness, maternity, and other benefits, (ii) gratuity to workers on completing five years of employment (or lesser than five years in certain cases such as death), (iii) maternity benefits to women employees, (iv) cess for welfare of building and construction workers, and (v) compensation to employees and their dependants in the case of occupational injury or disease. 
    • In addition, the central or state government may notify specific schemes for gig workers, platform workers, and unorganised workers to provide various benefits, such as life and disability cover. 
      • Gig workers refer to workers outside of the traditional employer-employee relationship (e.g., freelancers).  Platform workers are workers who access other organisations or individuals using online platforms and earn money by providing them with specific services.  Unorganised workers include home-based and self-employed workers. 

Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008

  • To provide social security relating to life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits, old age protection to the unorganised workers including domestic workers
  • Constitutes a National Social Security Board  and State Social Security Board to perform function assigned under the Act

Domestic Workers

  • As per NSSO statistics 2011-12, there are 39 lakh people employed as domestic workers
  • draft National Policy on Domestic Workers : Ministry of Labour & Employment is considering to formulate a National Policy on Domestic Workers which is in the draft stage. Salient features to include registration under existing legislation, minimum wages, social security, and union formation.
  • Domestic Workers Sector Skills Council - Under Ministry of Skills Development to enable professionalization of domestic workers and enable their career progression.

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Domestic workers struggle to make ends meet

Date References