NEW DELHI: Casual and contractual workers of municipal bodies in the country will now be covered under the social security body Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), the union labour ministry said on Thursday.

Labour minister Santosh Gangwar announced the decision to extend coverage under ESIC to all these workers and asked the corporation to talk to states, notifying the move.

For Delhi, the central government being the appropriate government under the ESI Act, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has issued intention notification.

“The minister informed that various municipal bodies in different states and UTs in the country employ a large number of casual and contractual workers. However, not being regular employees of the Municipal Corporations/Municipal councils, these workers remain out of the social security net making them a vulnerable lot,” the labour ministry said in a statement.

The ministry, however, did not give details on whether the a move will require these workers to pay from their salary every month as is the provision.

The ministry said once notifications for ESI coverage are issued by respective states and union territories, casual and contractual workers working with municipal bodies will be able to avail sickness benefit, maternity benefit, disablement benefit, dependent’s benefit, funeral expenses, among others.

“In addition and importantly, these workers will be eligible to avail medical services through vast network of ESI facilities i.e. 160 hospitals and over 1500 dispensaries all over the country,” the ministry said.

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