July 27th, 2016
This is good news for those people who work as domestic helps in households in India. The government at centre is soon going to roll out a scheme under which employers can get their maids, servants, cooks, and even drivers medically insured. For this they will have to doll out a mere Rs 200 / month. This adds up to Rs 2400 annually. The medical insurance scheme will not only benefit the domestic help but also his or her entire family.
Highlights of the scheme:
- It will be a voluntary scheme, meaning to say that the employer can get a medical insurance of his or her domestic help done if the employer so wants. Just like Prime Minister Modi appealed to those above the poverty line to give up their LPG subsidies, he will also appeal to the employers to get the medical insurance for their domestic helps.
- A government official revealed to Economic Times on conditions of anonymity that the Central Labour Ministry will issue a notification regarding the medical insurance scheme around 15th August.
- The scheme will be launched on a pilot basis in Delhi and Hyderabad. It is estimated that around 60 lakh to 1 crore domestic helps will benefit under this scheme.
- Under the scheme the domestic help will get free medical treatment at the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) hospitals and dispensaries.
- From the first day of the medical insurance, the insurance person and his family members can avail of free treatment at these wards. However, they will not receive any cash.
- The employers who wish to register their employees under the scheme will first have to certify the domestic help and his / her residence. This will be verified using the Adhar card of the domestic help following which he or she will be enrolled to receive the benefits of the medical insurance.
A move ahead from the old Act:
The Employees’ State Insurance Act (1948) was the first major legislation in India to benefit the workers under any social security scheme in independent India. This Act covered several health-related eventualities like sickness, maternity, temporary or permanent disablement, occupational disease or death due to injury at work place, all of which could lead to partial or total loss of income earning capacity of the workers.
The new scheme in the offing will be implemented by modifying the ESI Act (1948) so as to benefit the domestic workers. This comes within the ambit of the national policy for domestic workers, which is now being the final shape by labour ministry at the centre.
The Logical Indian community hails this good news to provide a security blanket to one of the most invisibilised and hence vulnerable sections of Indian economy. We urge our readers to get their domestic workers enrolled under the oncoming medical insurance scheme. After all, giving Rs 200 a month does not pinch anyone’s pockets!