UNORGANISED WORKERS SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 20081
[Act No. 33 of 2008]
[30th December, 2008]
An Act to provide for the social security and welfare of unorganised workers and for other matters connected therewith or incidental thereto
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-
Prefatory Note-Statement of Objects and Reasons
It is estimated that the workers in the unorganised sector constitute more than ninety-four per cent of the total employment in the country. On account of their unorganised nature, these workers do not get adequate social security. Some welfare schemes are being implemented by the Central Government for specific groups of unorganised sector workers such as beedi workers, non-coal mine workers, cine workers, handloom weavers, fishermen, etc. State Governments are implementing welfare programmes for certain categories of unorganised sector workers and some Non-
Government Organisations also provide social security to certain categories of workers. Despite all these efforts, there is a huge deficit in the coverage of the unorganised sector workers in the matter of labour protection and social security measures ensuring the welfare and well-being of workers in the unorganised sector, such as agricultural workers, construction workers, beedi workers, handloom workers, leather workers, etc.
2. The Unorganised Sector Workers’ Social Security Bill, 2007 aims to provide for social security and welfare of the unorganised sector workers and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Bill, inter alia, provides for the following matters, namely:-
(i) The Central Government shall constitute a National Social Security Advisory Board to recommend suitable welfare schemes for different sections of unorganised sector workers, and upon consideration of these recommendations, the Central Government may notify suitable welfare schemes relating to life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits, old age protection, or any other benefits.
(ii) The State Government shall constitute a State Social Security Advisory Board to recommend suitable welfare schemes for different sections of unorganised workers in that State and the State Government may notify suitable schemes for one or more sections of the unorganised workers.
(iii) A worker of an unorganised sector shall be eligible for social security benefits if, he is duly registered. Every registered worker in the unorganised sector shall be issued an identity card which shall be a smart card carrying a unique identification number and shall be portable.
(iv) The Central Government and the State Government shall have the power to make rules for the purposes of carrying out the objects of the Bill.
3. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objectives.
1. Received the assent of the President on December 30, 2008 and published in the Gazette of India, Extra., Part II, Section I, dated 31st December, 2008, pp. 1-8, No. 42