In a step that would bring relief to six crore employees and lakhs of employers, the Modi government is planning to introduce a single form to register for provident fund (EPFO) and insurance (ESIC).
This will contribute to ease of doing business and comes two weeks after the government reduced the number of labour registers to be maintained by employers from 56 to five.
While the Employees' Provident Fund organisation (EPFO) has about 4 crore subscribers, the government-run Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) provides insurance cover to two crore workers that includes dependents also.
"We are working on a single composite form for registration with the Employees' Provident Fund organisation (EPFO) and the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) which will be used by employers," the PTI quoted a senior government official as saying.
The mandatory registration requirements are different for employers for the two services. While EPFO is compulsory for firms with 20 or more employees, the provisions of ESIC become applicable if the minimum number is 10 employees.
On February 23, the union labour ministry had said that the number of labour registers to be maintained by establishments will be five instead of 56 earlier. The new norm will cover 5.85 crore (58.5 million) employers.
The labour laws applicable to establishments in India include:
- The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970.
- The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
- The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979.
- The Mines Act, 1952.
- The Minimum Wages Act, 1948.
- The Payment of Wages Act, 1936.
- The Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976.
- The Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1955.
A few days ago, the ministry had clarified that Aadhaar will be mandatory for final settlement of pension dues, while the same provision is not compulsory for withdrawal of provident fund amount by employees (subscribers).
The government had earlier said that it will be introducing online withdrawal of provident fund and pension money by employees, paving way for faster and transparent settlement of claims.