Centre all set to re-define migrant workers
New Delhi, May 28: The Centre is all set to re-define migrant workers. This would enable migrants access to social security and health benefits under the Employees' State Insurance Corporation.
This move comes in the wake of large scale migration of scores of workers, both in the informal and formal economy during the lockdown. The proposed measures would be taken under the updated Code on Social Security. The Cabinet would take up this proposal by the Labour Ministry, following a law would be enacted by the end of this year.
The legal framework is being strengthened and some of the proposals have been cleared by the standing committee of Parliament, confirmed Labour Minister, Santosh Gangwar.
The exodus of migrants has exposed some of the loopholes in the current legal framework.
The Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act of 1979 is applicable to establishments with five or more inter-state migrant workers and contractors involved in their hiring. This would mean that most of the migrant workers today will outside the ambit of this law.
One of the major plans is to allot the unorganised sector workers an Unorganised Sector Worker Identification Number. This was prescribed through a law in 2008, but this has not made much headway. Once this gets moving, it would be more attractive to migrant workers, who in turn would get social security benefits such as healthcare and pension.