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Saturday, August 7, 2010

New definition of factory, dependant, Appointment of specialist, Medical Benefit council, Social Security Officers, Appeal provisions, 5 year limitation period, Other beneficiaries scheme - ESI Amendment Act, 2010

ESI Act was amended by Employees State Insurance Amendment Act, 2010 by way of Gazette notification dated 25th May 2010 and its effective date is notified as 1st June 2010 with the following updates.

Section 1(5): The appropriate Government may, in consultation with the Corporation and where the appropriate Government is a State Government, with the approval of the Central Government, after giving one month (earlier it was six months') notice of its intention of so doing by notification in the Official Gazette, extend the provision of this Act or any of them, to any other establishment or class of establishments, industrial, commercial, agriculture or otherwise :

Section 2(6A) "dependant" means any of the following relatives of a deceased insured person, namely :-

(i) a widow, a minor legitimate or adopted son who has not attained the age of 25 years, an unmarried legitimate or adopted daughter;

(ii) if wholly dependent on the earnings of the insured person at the time of his death, a legitimate or adopted son or daughter who has attained the age of 25 years (not eighteen years) and is infirm;

Section 2(6A): “Employee” definition also includes only such persons engaged as apprentice whose training period is extended to any length of time.

Section 2(11) "family" means all or any of the following relatives of an insured person, namely :

(v) dependant parent whose income from all sources does not exceed such income as may be prescribed by CG.

(vi) in case the insured person is UNMARRIED & his/her parents is not alive, a minor brother/sister WHOLLY dependant on the earnings of the insured person.

Section 2(12): "factory" means any premises including the precincts thereof -
(a) whereon ten or more persons are employed or were employed for wages on any day of the preceding twelve months, and in any part of which a manufacturing process is being carried on with the aid of power or is ordinarily so carried on, or (b) whereon twenty or more persons are employed or were employed for wages on any day of the preceding twelve months, and in any part of which a manufacturing process is being carried on without the aid of power or is ordinarily so carried on, but does not include a mine subject to the operation of the Mines Act, 1952 (35 of 1952) or a railway running shed.

Section 10. MEDICAL BENEFIT COUNCIL. - (1) The Central Government shall constitute a Medical Benefit Council consisting of - (a) the Director General, ESIC, ex officio as Chairman;

(b) the Director General, Health Services, ex officio as Chairman.

Section 12(3) A person referred to in clause (i) of section 4 [3 members of Parliament of whom two shall be members of the House of the People (Lok Sabha) and one shall be a member of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) elected respectively by the members of the House of the people and the members of the Council of States] shall cease to be a member of the Corporation,

  • on becoming a Minister or Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of the people or the Deputy Chairman of the Council of States.
  • when he ceases to be a member of Parliament.

2nd provisio to Section 17(2)(a) dealing with Staff of ESIC allows appointment of Consultants & Specialists in various fields on contract basis.

Section 37. VALUATION OF ASSETS AND LIABILITIES. – The ESI Corporation shall, at intervals of 3 years (not five years), have a valuation of its assets and liabilities made by a valuer appointed with the approval of the Central Government.

Section 45. INSPECTORS, THEIR FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES: ESI Inspectors are now called Social Security Officers (SSO). Further, any authorised ESIC officer may carry out test inspection or re-inspection of the records & returns u/s. 44 for the purpose of verifying correctness & quality of inspection.

Second Proviso  to Section 45A: In case of determination of contribution u/s. 45, the ESI Corporation power is limited to 5 years of contribution becoming due. [limitation period]

Section 45AA: Appeal to Appellate Authority can be preferred by employee for order u/s. 45A within 60 days by depositing 25% of contribution (ordered or as per own calculation - whichever is higher), which is refundable with interest on success of appeal.

Section 51E: An accident occurring to an employee while commuting from his residence to the place of employment for duty or from the place of employment to his residence after performing duty, shall be deemed to have arisen out of and in the course of employment if nexus between the circumstances, time and place in which the accident occurred and the employment is established. [Agnes v. BEST Corpn case is now a law]

Third proviso to Section 56 amended: Medical Benefit:

Provided also that an insured person, who has attained the age of superannuation, a person who retires under Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) or takes premature retirement, and his spouse shall be eligible to receive medical benefit subject to payment of contribution and such other conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Section 58(5): State Government, with prior approval of Central Government, can also establish organisation to provide for sickness, maternity & employment injury.

Section 59(3): ESIC’s Hospital through Third party participation is now permitted.  So, now even a private hospital can be recognised for medical treatments.

Section 59B: ESIC is given permission to establish medical colleges, nursing colleges & training institutes for its paramedical staff & employees.

Existing Chapter VA is completely revised

  • Section 73B gives overriding power to Central Government to frame Scheme by way of Notification, for other beneficiaries (not being insured) for providing medical facility on payment of user charges.
  • Scheme shall have the details as per Section 73D and shall be laid in both houses of Parliament for 30 days.

Provisios added to Section 87: Exempted factory or establishment by which,

  • it is mandated that exemption will be granted only if employees receive substantially similar or superior benefits.
  • Application for renewal shall be made within 3 months before expiry of Exemption period and taken up by Government within 2 months.

Section 91A powers restricted.  Thus now, exemption may be granted only prospectively and not retrospectively.

Section 91AA: Central Government is the appropriate Government if the medical benefits are provided by ESIC.

Source: Notification


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