The ESI Act refers to the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948, which is a social security legislation in India. The Act provides for the establishment of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) and the implementation of the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) scheme. The primary objective of the ESI Act is to provide social security benefits to employees working in certain specified industries and establishments.

Here are some key features and provisions of the ESI Act:

  • Applicability: The ESI Act applies to factories, establishments, and certain specified categories of establishments employing ten or more employees. The Act covers employees earning up to a specific wage limit, which is revised periodically.
  • ESI Scheme: The Act establishes the ESI scheme, which provides comprehensive social security benefits to covered employees and their dependents. The benefits include medical care, cash benefits during sickness, maternity benefits, disability benefits, and dependent benefits in case of the employee’s death.
  • Contributions: Both the employer and the employee contribute to the ESI scheme. The employer contributes a percentage of the employee’s wages, while the employee contributes a smaller percentage. These contributions are payable to the ESIC on a monthly basis.
  • Registration: Employers covered under the ESI Act are required to register with the ESIC within a specified timeframe. Once registered, the employer is issued an ESI registration number, and employees are allotted individual ESI numbers.
  • Medical Facilities: The ESI scheme provides medical benefits to insured employees and their dependents. Registered employees can avail of medical treatment and facilities at ESIC dispensaries, hospitals, and recognized medical institutions.
  • Maternity Benefits: The ESI Act provides maternity benefits to female employees, including paid leave during pregnancy, medical care during pregnancy and childbirth, and cash benefits during maternity leave.
  • Sickness Benefits: Insured employees who are unable to work due to illness or temporary disablement are eligible for cash benefits. These benefits are provided for a specified period and are calculated as a percentage of the employee’s average daily wages.
  • Disability Benefits: In case of permanent disablement due to employment-related injuries or occupational diseases, insured employees are entitled to a monthly pension, based on the degree of disablement.
  • Dependents’ Benefits: In the event of the insured employee’s death, dependents, such as spouse and children, are eligible for monthly pension benefits.
  • Administration and Compliance: The ESIC is responsible for the administration and implementation of the ESI Act. Employers are required to maintain records, submit returns, and comply with various provisions of the Act, including timely payment of contributions and reporting of accidents or illnesses.

The ESI Act aims to provide social security coverage to employees in organized sectors, ensuring access to medical care and financial assistance during periods of illness, disability, maternity, or death. It promotes the welfare of employees and contributes to a healthier and more secure workforce.