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The Employees’ State Insurance (Amendment) Act, 2010

The Employees’ State Insurance (Amendment) Act, 2010 (Act no. 18 of 2010) was enacted with the view to amend the provisions of The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 (Act no. 34 of 1948). The suggestions for amending various sections sent to concerned Government from 1993 onwards. A sub-committee of Corporation examined it and submitted its report to the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation which in the year 2008 was approved by it. The Amendment Bill received the assent of President of India on 24th May, 2009 and The Employees’ State Insurance (Amendment) Act, 2010 came into force.

Section 1(5) of the Act extended the notice period of the scheme to other categories of Establishments and also such period is reduced to one month from six months which was originally provided. Further, in Section 2 of the original Act defining various terminologies used and provided under the provisions of that Act, was amended with certain additions and modification as per Amendment Act of 2010. Section 2(6A) defines the term ‘Dependent’ which after this Amendment Act came into effect should include enhanced age of dependants from 18 to 25 years. Similarly, Section 2(9) of the original Act defines the terms ‘employee’ which after the Amendment Act came into effect should include Apprentices appointed under standing orders and not those who are appointed under the Apprentices Act. Further, Section 2(11) dealing with definition of Family under the original Act,  now amended by this Amendment Act to include the clause (vi) providing inclusion of minor brother or sisters for medical care, in case where insured person being unmarried dies. Also this Amendment Act brought a changed definition of Factory, which includes premises or precincts wherein ten or more than ten persons are employed.

Further, the Amendment Act of 2010 amends the constitution of the Medical Benefit Council which after this Amendment Act came in to effect should include Director General of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation as Chairman and Director General of Health Services as Co-Chairman. The members of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation should cease to hold his officer as per section 12 of the original Act, wherein the Amendment Act brought a significant change by providing Sub Section (3) to original Section, as when such members cease to be the members of Parliament shall also cease to hold office as member of Corporation. Moreover, Section 45 of the original Act was amended by this Amendment Act, with the view to provide for re-inspection or test inspection of record and returns submitted under Section 44 of the original Act by Social Security Officer.

The Original Act under Section 45A makes provisions for determination of contributions in case of non-furnishing the registers, records or returns, etc. under the provisions of that Act or even if any authority is prevented by any employer to exercise its relevant functions. Such order of determination of contributions now after the Amendment Act came into force, can be challenged before Appellate Authority by such aggrieved employer, as this Amendment Act makes provisions for constitution of such Appellate Authority and also on relevant aspects.

The another important provision brought out by this Amendment Act is Section 58(5), which provides for setting up of Organization in addition to the Corporation under the Act, by the concerned State Government dealing with sickness, maternity and employment injury caused to employees. Further, Section 59 of the amended with the additional provision to have participation from local authority, private body or individual for provision of medical treatment and attendance for insured person. Similarly, this Amendment Act makes provision as to establishment of Medical Colleges, Nursing Colleges and Training Institutions for para-medical Staff, by adding a new provision i.e. Section 59-B to the original Act.

The Amendment Act of 2010, finally, provides for most important addition to the original principal Act i.e. a full new Chapter VA with Section 73A to 73F, wherein the Central Government empowered to frame Scheme for providing Medical care to the other beneficiaries from underutilized hospitals on payment of Charges by them.

by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan