Ans. Social security means the measures of protection afforded to employees, inclusive of unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers to ensure access to health care and to provide income security, particularly in cases of old age, unemployment, sickness, invalidity, work injury, maternity or loss of a breadwinner by means of rights conferred on them and schemes framed, under the Code on Social Security, 2020
Ans. The Code on Social Security ,2020 subsumes nine central labour legislations.ie., The Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923, The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948,The Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, The Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959, The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, The Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981, The Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996 and the Unorganised Workers' Social Security Act 2008.
Ans. The objective of the Code on Social Security, 2020 is to amend and consolidate the existing labour laws relating to social security with the wider goal of extending social security benefits to all employees and workers irrespective of belonging to the organised or unorganised sector. The Code on Social Security, 2020 brings, within itself the self-employed workers, home workers, wage workers, migrant workers, the workers in the unorganised sector, gig workers and platform workers for the purpose of social security schemes, including life insurance and disability insurance, health and maternity benefits, provident fund.
Ans. Section 2(79) of the Code on Social Security, 2020 illustrates on Social Security Organisations. It include (a) the Central Board of Trustees of Employees' Provident Fund constituted under section 4; (b) the Employees' State Insurance Corporation constituted under section 5; (c) the National Social Security Board for Unorganised Workers constituted under section 6; (d) the State Unorganised Workers' Social Security Board constituted under section 6; (e) the State Building and other Construction Workers' Welfare Boards constituted under section 7; and (f) any other organisation or special purpose vehicle declared to be the social security organisation by the Central Government.
Ans. Yes, Central provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC) can permit voluntary coverage under Sec 1(5) of the Code on Social Security, 2020. Move out option is available and Rule 3 Procedure is to be followed. Both the situations are based on agreement between employer and majority of employees. A 60 days time limit is provided under the Code on Social Security, 2020 to decide on the same. Or else there is a deemed provision (application is deemed as permitted) applicable.No such application (opting in/ opting out) shall be made by the employer of the establishment before five years of such coverage under provisions of Chapter III of the Code on Social Security, 2020. No such application shall be entertained unless the employer has furnished all statutory returns, paid all statutory dues under the Code on Social Security, 2020 and submitted a self-certification to that effect along with the application. As far as the chapter on ESI (Chapter IV) is concerned, application of the same kind, is to be decided upon by the Director General of Corporation. (Rule 3 applies) .Here too, 60 days time limit is provided for decision (Sec 1(7) & proviso is applicable in this context).
Ans. Yes, the grounds of exemption are under Section 143 read with Rule 60 of the Code on Social Security, 2020.
(a) establishment are in receipt of benefits substantially similar or superior to the benefits granted U/ESI & EPF CHAPTERS
(b) the establishment seeking exemption shall make an application electronically or otherwise;
(c) the establishment has been complying with the provisions of Chapter III & IV = for a period of three years continuously immediately before making the application and has not defaulted in payment of contribution payable under the respective Chapters during such period;
(d) have minimum five hundred contributory members for the purposes of Chapter III & IV of the Code on Social Security, 2020, as the case may be, on the date of such application;
(e) the establishment seeking exemption from the provisions of the Provident Fund Scheme or the Pension Scheme should have a cumulative balance in members account of rupees fifty crore or more in respect of the Scheme from which exemption is sought;
(f) for the purposes EPF, the establishment shall furnish consent of majority of the employees for seeking exemption under section 143 of the Code on Social Security, 2020;
(g) the establishment seeking exemption should have a positive net worth during each of the last three years before the date of application;
(h) the establishment must have seeded the Aadhaar Number of each of the member in the respective members’ account for the purposes of Chapter III & Chapter IV, as the case may be, of the Code on Social Security, 2020 in the respective data-base;
(i) for the purposes of Chapter III of the Code on Social Security, 2020, the establishment shall provide facilities for online claim settlement and has an online portal for grievance resolution to provide linkages with that of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation within ninety days of grant of exemption.
Ans. Yes. It can be made applicable to hazardous or life threatening occupation as notified by the Central Government, in which even a single employee is employed.
Ans. The State Government may establish such organization as an Employees’ State Insurance Society, which shall serve as a managerial and health care body, in terms of sub-section (5) of section 40 of the Code on Social Security, 2020. The Society shall consist of the Governing Body,(tripartite) the Executive Committee, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Secretariat. The Society shall be registered under the State specific Societies Registration Act and the States specific Public Trust Act.
Ans. The chapter on ‘Gratuity’ is applicable to:
a) every factory, mine, oilfield, plantation, port and railway company; and
b) every shop or establishment in which 10 or more employees are employed, or were employed, on any day of the preceding twelve months; and
c) such shops or establishments as may be notified by the appropriate Government from time to time
Ans. There are three situations generally to be noted wherein the five year period is relaxed. They are:
a) on the death or disablement of employee due to accident or disease;
b) on termination of his contract period under fixed term employment; (pro-rata basis)or
c) on happening of any such event as may be notified by the Central Government:
Further, there is special relaxation in case of working journalist as defined in clause (f) of section 2 of the Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Condition of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955, instead of five years, it is three years that needs to be completed.
Q.11. Which are the kinds of building /other construction works that are excluded from the chapter on Social Security aspects under Chapter IX of the Code on Social Security, 2020?
Ans. The excluded works as per Section 2(6) of the Code on Social Security, 2020 are: any building or other construction work which is related to any factory or mine or any building or other construction work employing less than ten workers in the preceding twelve months or where such work is related to own residential purposes of an individual or group of individuals for their own residence and the total cost of such work does not exceed fifty lakhs rupees or such higher amount and employing more than such number of workers as may be notified by the appropriate Government.
Q.12. What is the eligibility criteria fixed for building workers under the Code on Social Security, 2020 for Registration as beneficiaries and the incidence of cessation as beneficiary?
Ans. Section 106 of the Code on Social Security, 2020 discusses about registration of workers. It is done electronically. Registered workers are issued with identity cards making them eligible to receive benefits out of the prescribed schemes notified. It is the responsibility of the State Government and the State Building Workers’ Welfare Board to get the workers registered.
As per the Code under Section 106, every building worker who has completed eighteen years of age, but has not completed sixty years of age, and who has been engaged in any building or other construction work for not less than ninety days during the preceding twelve months shall be registered by the officer authorised by the Building Workers' Welfare Board as a beneficiary.
Cessation as beneficiary is discussed under Section 107 of the Code on Social Security, 2020. A building worker who has been registered as a beneficiary under the Code on Social Security, 2020 shall cease to be a beneficiary when he attains the age of sixty years or when he is not engaged in building or other construction work for not less than ninety days in a year.
Q.13. Can a building worker who migrates from one state to the another get his benefits under the Code on Social Security, 2020.If yes from where?
Ans. Yes. Where a building worker migrates from one state to another, he shall be entitled to get benefits from the Board in whose jurisdiction s/he is currently working and such board shall be responsible for providing such benefits to such workers.
Ans. Section 2(2) of the Code defines Aggregator as the digital intermediary or a market place for a buyer or user of a service to connect with the seller or the service provider. The Aggregators listed under Schedule VII are1. Ride sharing services 2. Food and grocery delivery services 3. Logistic services 4. e-Market place (both market place and inventory model) for wholesale/ retail sale of goods and/or services (B2B/B2C) 5. Professional services provider 6. Healthcare7. Travel and hospitality 8. Content and media services and 9. Any other goods and services provider platform.
Ans. Section152 (1) of the Code on Social Security, 2020 describes the procedure regarding the same.
The Central Government may, by notification amend the First Schedule, Fourth Schedule, Fifth Schedule, Sixth Schedule and Seventh Schedule by way of addition or deletion therein and upon such addition or deletion, the Schedules shall stand to have been amended accordingly.
The appropriate Government may, by notification amend the Second Schedule and Third Schedule by way of addition therein and not otherwise, and upon such addition, the Schedules shall stand to have been amended accordingly.
Ans. It means the engagement of an employee on the basis of a written contract of employment for a fixed period. The hours of work, wages, allowances and other benefits of a fixed term employee shall not be less than that of a permanent employee doing the same work or work of a similar nature; and such an employee shall be eligible for all benefits, under any law for the time being in force, available to a permanent employee proportionately according to the period of service rendered by him/her even if the period of employment does not extend to the required qualifying period of employment.(ie. Gratuity eligibility of 5 years of service).
Ans. Section 2(41) defines an "inter-State migrant worker" under the Code on Social Security, 2020 and means a person who is employed in an establishment and who (i) has been recruited directly by the employer or indirectly through contractor in one State for employment in such establishment situated in another State; or (ii) has come on his own from one State and obtained employment in an establishment of another State/destination State or has subsequently changed the establishment within the destination State, under an agreement or other arrangement for such employment and drawing wages not exceeding eighteen thousand rupees per month or such higher amount as may be notified by the Central Government from time to time.
Q.18. Who is an unorganised worker under the Code on Social Security, 2020?
Ans. Section 2 (86) defines an "unorganised worker" inclusive of a home-based worker, self-employed worker or a wage worker in the unorganised sector and includes a worker in the organised sector who is not covered by the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 or Chapters III (Chapter on EPF) to VII (Chapter on Employees Compensation) of the Code on Social Security, 2020.
Q.19. Who is a ‘Gig worker’ and ‘Platform worker’ under the Code on Social Security, 2020?
Ans. Section 2(35) of the Code on Social Security, 2020 defines "Gig worker" to mean a person who performs work or participates in a work arrangement and earns from such activities outside of traditional employer-employee relationship.
Section 2 (61) of the Code on Social Security, 2020 defines ‘Platform worker’ to mean a person engaged in or undertaking platform work and Section 2(60) defines the ‘platform work’ to mean a work arrangement outside of a traditional employer-employee relationship in which organizations or individuals use an online platform to access other organizations or individuals to solve specific problems or to provide specific services or any such other activities which may be notified by the Central Government, in exchange for payment.
Q.20. What is the procedure envisaged under the Code on Social Security, 2020, to get the registration of unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers done?
Ans. Section 113 of the Code on Social Security, 2020 discusses the same. Rule 50 (1) and (2) provides for the procedure involved in the same.
As per these provisions, every unorganised worker, gig worker or platform worker shall be required to be registered for the purposes of Chapter-IX (Social Security for Unorganised Workers, Gig Workers and Platform Workers), subject to the fulfillment of the following conditions, namely:—
(a) s/he has completed sixteen years of age or such age as may be prescribed by the Central Government;
(b) s/he has submitted a self-declaration electronically or otherwise in such form and in such manner containing such information as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
Every eligible unorganised worker, gig worker or platform worker shall make an application for registration in a prescribed format along with such documents including Aadhaar number as may be prescribed by the Central Government and such worker shall be assigned a distinguishable number to her/his application. The system of electronic registration maintained by the appropriate Government shall also provide for self registration by any such worker in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government. A registered unorganised worker, gig worker or platform worker alone shall be eligible to avail the benefit of the concerned scheme framed under the Code on Social Security, 2020. The Central Government, or as the case may be, the State Government shall make such contribution in a scheme as may be specified to that effect.
Q.21. Is any contribution mandatorily prescribed from the Aggregators under the Code on Social Security, 2020?
Ans. Yes. Sec 114(4) provides for the contribution to be collected from Aggregators. As per the Code, they will have to contribute 1to 2 per cent of their annual turnover for social security which will not exceed 5% of the amount paid or payable by an aggregator to gig workers and platform workers. Rule 51(3) of the Code on Social Security, 2020 discusses on the nuances about the same.
Q.22. What are the functions of National and State Social Security Board under the Code on Social Security, 2020?
Ans. The functions of the National Social Security Board are:
a) recommend to the Central Government for framing suitable schemes for different sections of unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers;
(b) advise the Central Government on such matters arising out of the administration of this Code as may be referred to it;
(c) monitor such social welfare schemes for unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers as are administered by the Central Government;
(d) review the record keeping functions performed at the State level;
(e) review the expenditure from the fund and account; and
(f) undertake such other functions as are assigned to it by the Central Government from time to time.
The State Board does have similar functions at the state level.
Q.23. what are the functions of State Building Workers Welfare Boards under the Code on Social Security, 2020?
Ans. The functions of State Building Workers Welfare Boards are to:
(a) provide death and disability benefits to a beneficiary or his dependants;
(b) make payment of pension to the beneficiaries who have completed the age of sixty years;
(c) pay such amount in connection with premium for Group Insurance Scheme of the beneficiaries as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government;
(d) frame educational schemes for the benefit of children of the beneficiaries as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government;
(e) meet such medical expenses for treatment of major ailments of a beneficiary or, such dependant, as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government;
(f) make payment of maternity benefit to the beneficiaries;
(g) frame skill development and awareness schemes for the beneficiaries;
(h) provide transit accommodation or hostel facility to the beneficiaries;
(i) formulation of any other welfare scheme for the building worker beneficiaries by State Government in concurrence with the Central Government; and
(j) make provision and improvement of such other welfare measures and facilities as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
Q.24. What are the types of schemes to be notified by the Central Government under the Chapter III of the Code on Social Security, 2020?
Ans. The Central government may by notification
(a) frame a scheme to be called the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme for which the provident funds shall be established under the Chapter-III (dealing with EPF) for employees or for any class of employees and specify the establishments or class of establishments to which they said scheme shall apply;
(b) frame a scheme to be called the Employees' Pension Scheme for the purpose of providing for— (i) superannuation pension, retiring pension or permanent total disablement pension to the employees of any establishment or class of establishments to which this Chapter applies; (ii) widow or widower's pension, children pension or orphan pension payable to the beneficiaries of such employees; and (iii) nominee pension;
(c) frame a scheme to be called the Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme for the purpose of providing life insurance benefits to the employees of any establishment or class of establishments to which Chapter-III (dealing with EPF) applies;
(d) frame any other scheme or schemes for the purposes of providing social security benefits under this Code to self-employed workers or any other class of persons.
Q.25. Discuss on employer’s liability as prescribed under the Code on Social Security, 2020?
Ans. Employer is to maintain records and registers containing particulars such as:
The employer is mandated to:
26. What is compounding of offences under the Code on Social Security, 2020? What is the procedure involved?
Ans. Section 138 of the Code on Social Security, 2020 and corresponding Rule 56 gets applied here.
(1) The officer authorized by the Central Government by notification for the purposes of compounding of offences shall issue electronically a compounding notice in Form-XXIV for the offences for which are compoundable under section 138.
(2) The person so noticed may apply in Part III of the Form-XXIV to the officer electronically and deposit the entire compounding amount by electronic transfer or otherwise, within fifteen days of the receipt of the notice.
(3) The Compounding Officer shall issue a composition certificate in Part IV of Form-XXIV within ten days of receipt of the composition amount, to such person from whom such amount has been received in satisfaction of the composition notice.
(4) If a person so noticed fails to deposit the composition amount within the prescribed time, the prosecution shall be instituted before the competent Court or the offence in respect of which the compounding notice was issued, against such person.
(5) Composition after institution of prosecution. —
(a) The Court may compound any compoundable offence at any time after filing of a complaint under section 138 of the Code on Social Security, 2020.
(b) The provisions of section 320 of the Code on Social Security, 2020 of Criminal Procedure, 1973 shall apply to such compositions.
Q. 27. What is a Career Centre under the Code on Social Security, 2020?
Ans. Career Centers will replace Employment Exchanges and it includes any office (including employment exchange, place or portal) established and maintained in the manner prescribed by the Central Government for providing such career services (including registration, collection and furnishing of information, either by the keeping of registers or otherwise, manually, digitally, virtually or through any other mode) as may be prescribed by the Central Government, which may, inter alia, relate generally or specifically to— (i) persons who seek to employ employees; (ii) persons who seek employment; (iii) occurrence of vacancies; and (iv) persons who seek vocational guidance and career counseling or guidance to start self-employment.
Q. 28. Is there any special power vested with the Central Government during times of pandemic or disaster?
Ans. Yes, Section144 of the Code on Social Security, 2020 details out the power of Central Government by order, defer or reduce employer's contribution, or employee's contribution, or both, payable under Chapter III or Chapter IV, as the case may be, for a period up to three months at a time, in respect of establishment to which Chapter III or Chapter IV, as the case may be, applies, for whole of India or part thereof in the event of pandemic, endemic or national disaster. This is applicable to EPF and ESI contributions alone.
Q. 29. What is Social Security Fund?
Ans. The Code mandates setting up of Social Security Fund both at Central and state level.Section141 (1) of the Code on Social Security, 2020 describes that here shall be established by the Central Government a Social Security Fund for social security and welfare of the unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers. The major source of the fund will be the amount collected by way of composition of offences under the Code on Social Security, 2020 and any other sources as prescribed.
30. How is auditing of Social Security Organisations prescribed under the Code on Social Security, 2020?
Ans. Section 116 of the Code on Social Security, 2020 details out the same. Accounts of each of the Social Security Organisations is to be audited annually by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and any expenditure incurred by him in connection with such audit shall be payable by the respective Social Security Organisation to the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.