The labour ministry may soon propose to reduce to a third the minimum number of work days a construction worker is required to clock to avail social security benefits under the Building and Other Construction Workers Act.
The measure will be a bonanza for over 25 million building and construction workers in the country, most of whom are part of the unorganised sector. A senior government officer told ET that the ministry is revisiting the law to make an enabling provision that will make construction workers eligible for social security benefits under the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation and the Employee State Insurance Corporation by working for 30 days instead of 90 days as stipulated under the Act.
“We are making the necessary changes to the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, to widen the scope of its implementation and simplify it so as to remove all difficulties pertaining to the registration of workers under the Act,” the official said. The draft amendment will soon be put in the public domain for stakeholder consultation.
“As per other changes mooted to the Act, henceforth, the worker will have to simply declare on an affidavit that he/she is a construction worker and get himself enrolled under the Act using the Aadhaar number. Besides, the worker will not be required to pay any amount to the registrar and even the annual registration will no longer be required,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
“Once the worker is enrolled he will be given a universal account number, based on which he can be traced anywhere in India, keeping in mind the migrant nature of work they are engaged into,” he said. The government is of the view that building and other construction workers are one of the most vulnerable segments of the unorganized sector workforce in the country, enduring uncertain working hours and temporary nature of the work.