Statutory Benefits available to covid-19 affected employees

Statutory Benefits available to covid-19 affected employees

Spread of covid-19 pandemic across India including the rural areas, it has become important to know what are the statutory and optional benefits( including financial) available to the Employees and also to their dependents

1. Employee’s State Insurance (ESIC) – There are two types of benefits in ESIC

• Medical benefit

i. The affected IP( insured person) and/ or or his family member can avail free of cost medical care in any ESIC hospital

ii. Further, the ESIC beneficiaries may seek emergency medical treatment from tie up Hospital directly without referral letter in accordance with his/ entitlement

iii. In case the IP or family member, being infected with covid-19, Take treatment in any private institution then reimbursement of Expenditure may be claimed from ESIC

• Cash benefit

i. Sickness benefit – The covid-19 affected IP can claim sickness benefit for his period of absenteeism as per his entitlement. The sickness benefit is paid at rate 70% of average daily wages for a maximum 91 days in a benefit period

ii. ABVKY – if an IP is rendered unemployed, he can avail ABVKY benefit 50% of average daily wage for a maximum 90 days

iii. RGSKY – in case a person becomes unemployed due to retrenchment for closure of the establishment he may claim unemployment allowance for a period of up to 2 years

iv. Funeral expenses – in the event of unfortunate demise of any insured person, funeral expenses of rupees 15000/- are paid to the eldest surviving member of his family

2. Group mediclaim offered by employer – As a welfare measure, many employers offer group mediclaim insurance policy to their employees. If the employee is getting such benefits then the covid-19 affected employee can use it to manage his medical care costs

3. No deduction from salary – State governments like the government of state of Maharashtra have officially notified the manufacturing employers not to deduct salary of employees affected by covid-19. Check out your state government’s latest notification for more information about the same.

4. Employees Provident Fund – The EPF is a compulsory saving Scheme for the employees designed with inbuilt pension (check eligibility) and life insurance schemes. The covid-19 affected employee has following provisions under the PF to his advantage

• Covid-19 Advance – The affected employee can take advance from his EPF savings subject to lower of 75% of EPF contribution balance or 3 times of his last drawn PF salary rate

• EDLI – There is an inbuilt life insurance scheme provided along with the employees Provident Fund Called Employees Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme. In event of death of employees whose name was present of the rolls of the company, The nominee of the deceased employee can claim the EDLI amount by submitting form 5IF. This is subject to maximum 7 lakh rupees.

• PF and Pension – The dependent of the deceased employee can immediately claim the PF amount of the deceased employees by submitting form 20. Also if eligible, the window and up to two children of the the deceased employee can claim pension. The minimum widow pension is rupees 2500/- per month and the minimum child pension is rupees 625/- per month for each child.

5. P M J J B Y – Pradhanmantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana – Has rupees 330/- been deducted from your bank account? If yes, you are getting coverage under the the PMJJBY scheme. It is the premium amount for term Life Insurance Scheme called PMJJBY. This insurance scheme gives rupees 200000/- to the nominee of the deceased. In the event of death of a person, including due to covid-19, the nominee of the deceased person must approach the bank where the premium deduction happened and claim the money. Documents required are claim form ( given by the bank), Death certificate of the deceased person and Cancelled Cheque of the nominee.

6. Gratuity and other legal dues from employer – In the event of death of an employee, including due to covid-19, the family member/ legal heir must approach employer of deceased employee and claim the gratuity amount as per eligibility and also all the pending legal dues like balance salary payable, leave encashment, pending bonus, etc from the employer. In case the employer provides for Life Insurance as an additional welfare scheme, the employer will help in claiming the insurance amount.

Thus above are some of the ways to financially help the employee and his/her dependents in these tough times. Employees are also advised to fill up and submit their nomination forms especially for PF, Gratuity, Pension and Life insurance. It saves the dependents from lot of pain and hassle. In case you know of any other benefits please mention the same in comments section.

The author is an expert in Labour and Employment Laws. You may reach him by emailing to bhavikhc@gmail.com

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