Labour Ministry to relax eligibility norms for availing unemployment benefits

The Ministry of Labour and Employment is likely to propose significant relaxation in the eligibility criteria for seeking unemployment benefits under the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme. The proposal aims to enhance the quantum of benefits to 50 percent of last drawn wages and extend the support period by three months.

The Labour Ministry also proposes to do away with the condition that the benefit can be availed only once in a lifetime.

If cleared, the move will benefit over 32 million ESIC subscribers if they ever find themselves unemployed. The proposal will be presented before the corporation meeting on August 20,

The idea has the backing of the Prime Minister’s Office. “The proposal has been presented to the PMO last week and will now be tabled in the corporation meeting scheduled next week,

The plan is to double the insured amount to 50 percent of the last drawn salary and extend the tenure of benefit from three months to six months.

The proposal also mentions reducing the minimum work requirement of two years to 78 days and allowing multiple withdrawals under the scheme subject to certain conditions.

The ‘Atal Beema Vyakti Kalyan Yojana’ is a scheme that provides unemployment insurance to workers who have subscribed to the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) scheme. Under the Yojana, the government provides 25 percent of the monthly salary as unemployment benefit for three months.

However, workers should have been a subscriber of the ESIC for at least two years to get the unemployment benefit, and this can be availed only once in a lifetime.

The ESI is a self-financing health insurance scheme for formal sector workers in India. It is managed by the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).

Meanwhile, India’s unemployment rate in June fell to 11 percent from 23.5 percent in May, according to data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) as economic activities resumed after the government eased coronavirus pandemic lockdown restrictions.



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