Social security is an assurance for every sector of people in a country. A large number of unorganized employees are devoid of security not only in financial but also in social aspects. The Code of social security act 2020 was enacted on 28th September 2020 for workers or laborers of all spheres in the work sector irrespective of being organized or unorganized. The code contains 164 sections in14 chapters and 7 schedules. The code specifies on amending and consolidating laws in the aspect of social security of all major labour or related laws for the welfare of employees of all sectors.
The Act’s existence has already repealed major nine labour law Acts including The Employees compensation Act 1923, The Employees State insurance act 1948, The Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Act 1952 as per section 164 of the Security Code Act.
Section two of the Code defines Gig worker, Aggregator, employee, Platform work and unorganized worker. The act undoubtedly gives prominence to the Gig workers, platform workers and unorganized workers as they are the most neglected category of workers of not being organized and do works that are of temporary nature either directly or through the online platforms for wages contrary to the conventional employer and employee work pattern. Act specifically mentions unorganized sector were the number of workers are less than 10 in an enterprise and the workers are normally home based or self-employed workers. Social security mentioned in the code specifically focus on providing and ensuring health care access and income security and it is assured in any scheme frame work subject to the provisions of the code particularly to the old age workers. They are ensured all the rights in any scheme or frame work conferred in the code.
The most important and mandatory requirement to access the benefits mentioned in the act, the unorganized worker of any sector should register compulsorily all the personal information with regard to him including age proof and address as prescribed in the frame work in the Act. Section 142 of the act the Government is empowered to collect the Aadhaar card of the worker to have the proper data basis of the unorganized workers for preparing the national data base of the unorganized workers in the country. The ESI benefits are applicable to the establishments having a single employee. A migrant worker is also entitled to the benefits mentioned under the Act while migrating from one state to another.
The employer is liable to maintain records and register of the particulars of the workers including the wage paid, leave wages, the number of days worked, vacancies, to display notice time to time in the work place in the prescribed form by the government, issuing wage slips in electronic forms or otherwise. Section 144 of the code empowers Central government to have special powers during pandemic or disaster periods. Social security fund in accordance with section 141(1) is also maintained for the social security and welfare of the unorganized workers.
The amalgamation of major acts in labour laws with due amendments made the social security Code 2020 a Landmark act for the workers of unorganized sector in the Country.