Chennai: Workers who are covered under the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme will receive 50 per cent of their average wage of three months as unemployment benefit if they have lost their jobs during the pandemic period of March 24 to December 31 this year.
ESIC has relaxed the norms of the Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyna Yojna which provides unemployment benefits to workers covered under the ESI scheme. For the pandemic period between March-end and December-end, the unemployment benefit has been enhanced to 50 per cent of average wages from the earlier 25 per cent payable up to a maximum 90 days of unemployment.
The payment will be made after 30 days after unemployment instead of 90 days earlier.
The insured person can submit the claim directly to the ESIC branch office instead of the claim being forwarded by the last employer and the payment shall be made directly to his bank account.
The benefit will be available for those with insurable employment for a minimum period of 2 years before his/her unemployment. He should have contributed for not less than 78 days in the contribution period immediately preceding to unemployment and minimum 78 days in one of the remaining 3 contribution periods in 2 years prior to unemployment.
ESIC also has extended the recently expired Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyna Yojna for one more year up to June 30, 2021. Post December 31, 2020, the scheme will be available with original eligibility conditions till June next year.
ESIC provides cover to about 3.49 crore of workers. The ESI scheme covers employees with a monthly salary of up to Rs 21,000. Hence the benefit under the unemployment scheme will be capped at Rs 31,500 per beneficiary.
The decision would be helpful to the workers as it will support them in overcoming their difficulties during the period of unemployment, said Tirupur Export Association president Raja M Shanmugham.