Highlights of the Bill

  • The Unorganised Sector Workers' Social Security Bill, 2007 provides for an enabling framework for welfare schemes targeting unorganised sector workers.
  • The central government may formulate welfare schemes for different sections of unorganised sector workers regarding life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits, old age protection, and any other benefit decided by the government.
  • The state government may formulate welfare schemes related to the provident fund, employment injury benefits, housing, educational schemes for children, skill upgradation of workers, funeral assistance, and old age homes.
  • This Bill establishes boards at the central and state levels to advise and help in formulating, implementing and monitoring social welfare schemes for unorganised sector workers.
  • Every unorganised sector worker shall be registered by the district administration and issued a portable smart card carrying a unique identification number.

Key Issues and Analysis

  • The National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) recommended two separate Bills for agricultural workers and unorganised non-agricultural workers. This Bill does not differentiate between agricultural and non-agricultural workers.
  • The two NCEUS draft Bills included both conditions of work and social security benefits. This Bill does not address conditions of work.
  • In order to register as an unorganised worker, an individual must be 14 years of age and declare himself an unorganised worker. There is no process to verify such declaration.
  • The Bill does not specify any time limit within which the district administration must issue an identity card.
  • Whereas the Bill sets a salary limit to define a self-employed worker and a wage worker, there is no such salary limit in the definition of a home-based worker.

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