How Can Employees Register For ESIC Coverage?

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In the landscape of social security in India, the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) stands as a pivotal institution, providing a safety net to employees in times of distress such as sickness, disability, or employment injury. Established under the ESI Act of 1948, ESIC extends its benefits not only to the employees but also to their families, covering a wide array of medical, cash, maternity, disability, and dependent benefits. The essence of securing ESIC coverage lies in the registration process, which, once completed, ensures that employees are entitled to receive the benefits under this scheme. This article delves into the detailed process of how employees can register for ESIC coverage, emphasising the significance of timely ESIC payments to maintain continuous protection.

Understanding ESIC coverage

Before embarking on the registration process, it’s crucial to understand who is eligible for ESIC coverage. The scheme is designed for non-seasonal factories and establishments employing 10 or more persons (in some states, this threshold is 20), and it covers employees earning up to Rs. 21,000 per month. It provides a comprehensive set of benefits, including medical care, cash benefits during sickness or maternity, and pensions for dependents in case of the death of an employee due to employment injury.

Step 1: Employer registration

The initial step towards availing ESIC benefits begins with the employer. Employers must register their establishment with the ESIC within 15 days from the date it becomes applicable, through the ESIC portal. The process involves filling out an Employer’s Registration Form (Form-01) and submitting it along with the required documents, such as the factory or establishment registration certificate, PAN card, bank statements, and a list of employees with their compensation details.

Step 2: Employee registration

Once the establishment is registered, the next step is the registration of employees under the ESIC scheme. This process is also initiated by the employer. Here’s how it unfolds:

  1. Digital employee registration: Employers are required to fill out the details of each employee in the ESIC portal. This includes personal information, family details, and nomination for receiving benefits under the scheme.
  2. Generation of insurance number: Upon successful submission of the employee details, an Insurance Number is generated for each employee. This number acts as a unique identifier and is essential for all future transactions and claims with the ESIC.
  3. Issuance of temporary identity certificate (TIC): Following the generation of the Insurance Number, a Temporary Identity Certificate is issued, which can be used by the employee to avail medical benefits for a period of up to 3 months, until the Permanent Photo Identity Card is issued.
  4. Biometric photo identity card: Employees are required to visit the designated ESIC branch or kiosk with their TIC and a recent photograph to complete their biometric verification. Post verification, a Permanent Photo Identity Card is issued, which is crucial for availing of the ESIC benefits.

Step 3: Regular ESIC payments

The coverage and benefits under the ESIC scheme are contingent upon regular contributions or ESIC payments. These contributions are made by both the employer and the employee, with the rates being periodically revised by the government. As of now, the employer contributes 3.25% of the monthly wages payable to the employee, while the employee contributes 0.75%, making a total of 4% of the monthly wages.

  1. Monthly contributions: ESIC payment is to be made on a monthly basis, with the employer responsible for deducting the employee’s share from their wages and depositing the total amount to the ESIC.
  2. Online payment process: The ESIC has facilitated an online payment process through its portal, where employers can make the contributions through net banking, debit/credit cards, or other approved payment methods.

Navigating challenges in registration and payment

While the process of ESIC registration and making regular payments is streamlined, employees and employers may face challenges such as documentation issues, delays in identity card issuance, or technical glitches in the online portal. It’s advisable for both parties to keep abreast of any updates on the ESIC portal, maintain clear communication, and seek assistance from the ESIC helpdesk whenever necessary.

Conclusion: A gateway to social security

Registering for ESIC coverage is more than a statutory obligation; it’s a step towards ensuring a safety net for employees against the uncertainties of health and employment-related issues. By meticulously following the registration process and ensuring timely ESIC payments, employees and employers together can leverage the full spectrum of benefits offered by the ESIC scheme. As we advance, the role of digital platforms and the simplification of processes hold the promise of making ESIC coverage more accessible and beneficial for the workforce across India, embodying the essence of social security in the truest sense.


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