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  • 1. SOCIAL WELFARE SCHEMES FOR INFORMAL SECTOR WORKERS Submited by:- Fata Ram, Gunjan Jena, Priytosh Singh, Shubham Kaul, Vishank Menon National Law School of India University, Bangalore
  • 2. INFORMAL SECTOR  “An enterprise owned by individuals or self-employed workers and engaged in the production or sale of goods or providing service of any kind whatsoever, and where the enterprise employs workers, the number of such workers is less than ten.” - Section 2(l), The Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008  Informal Sector workmen constitute more than 90% of the total workforce in India and about 50% of total GDP. The percentage of unorganized sector labour in various areas is given in the following table :- Tabulation Category Share of Unorganized Sector 1. Agriculture & Forestry 99.9 % 2. Fishing 98.7 % 3. Mining 64.4 % 4. Manufacturing 87.7 % 5. Electricity, Gas & Water Supply 12.4 % 6. Construction 92.4 % 7. Wholesale & Retail Trade 98.3 % 8. Hotel & Restaurants 96.7 % 9. Transport, Storage & Communication 82.2 % Share of Labour Input in Unorganized Sector(2004-05)
  • 3. PROBLEMS NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED •The informal industries are not identified and listed which makes it difficult for the Government to make welfare schemes for the informal sector workers. Legal Regulation •Social security is not defined in the Social Security Act,2008. The provisions prescribed in the Act themselves are not universally applicable. Social Security •There is no universal minimum wages mentioned in the Act. No recognition to nature of works while fixing the minimum wages. Minimum Wages •Basic minimum working conditions are not prescribed. Working conditions are not differentiated according to the seriousness and hazardness of work in different sectors. Working Conditions •Basic minimum health measures are not implemented. There is need of specific attention towards health in case of more hazards work. Special attention for the health of children of informal workers is not given. Health- Occupational Hazards •Discrimination in salaries and other benefits on gender basis. No proper mechanism is given to address the discrimination at work place. Discrimination
  • 4. LEGAL REGULATION  The basic problem with informal sector is that the workers and the industries are not legally recognized in any manner. Hence, the first step towards solving these problems has to be providing legal regulations to the workers.  This can be done through the Adhar Card and BPL Card under which a separate category should be made by the State Government stating the employer and workplace of the individuals working in the informal sector.  In addition to the workers, the owners of informal industries and the employees should also be licensed and regulated in a formal manner. Every industry must be listed down by the State Government for the purpose of providing and ensuring various social security welfare schemes to the workers.
  • 5. SOCIAL SECURITY Government should set mandatory targets for social security schemes Providing Mandatory and Exclusive Insurance Providing Pension and Post-Retirement Benefits Providing assistance in Children’s health, education and recreation Providing technical support, skill development and training Providing sufficient paid maternity leave to the female workers. Creating medical aid societies in order to provide healthcare
  • 6. MINIMUM WAGES The Central Government needs to set a minimum threshold for the wages in informal sector to be called as National Minimum Wages (NMW) and the State Governments should have the discretion to set their minimum wages to be called as State Minimum Wages (SMW) but it should not be less than the NMW. •For Example:- Workers at a firework industry, a brick kiln and a construction labour cannot have same minimum wages simply because of the nature of their work. Hence, gradation should be made in the wages at various industries on the basis of danger involved. The wages must be provided as per the requirement and nature of work performed by the workers. A classification of the works should be made by the State government according to the nature of the work and wages must be allocated to each category accordingly. •To ensure the proper distribution of minimum wages in the various informal sector industries. •To provide grievance redressal mechanism for the irregularities in the distribution of wages. •To make the general public aware of such a grievance redressal mechanism The State Government should appoint Inspectors at Tehsil level who shall be personally liable for not disposing off the complaints. They should have following responsibilities and duties.
  • 7. WORKING CONDITIONS  The State Government needs to limit the number of working hours in the various informal sector industries according to the nature of work involved. For the limited number of working hours, the workers should get atleast the minimum wages and in the non-hazardous industries, the workers should be given hourly wages for any additional hour of work she performs.  In addition to that, the State Government should ensure the following at all the informal sector work places :-  Cleanliness:- That the work premise should be free from any effluvium or hazardous emissions which might arise from any drain or nuisance and to maintain the general standards of cleanliness including white washing, painting, etc.  Ventilation:- That the work premise must maintain the general standards of lighting, ventilation and temperature in order to prevent injury to the health of the workers. In industries involving injurious or offensive emissions, the Inspector must ensure the effective measures to prevent inhalation of such emissions.  Overcrowding:- That there should be proper and sufficient work space available for the workers and the premise should not be overcrowded to such an extent that it leads to injuries to the workers.  Drinking Water:- That the premise should have proper and sufficient supply of drinking water conveniently available for the workers. These points of drinking water should be labeled in the local language and it must be at a safe distance from any other washing place, urinal or latrine.  Latrines and Urinals:- That the work place must have sufficient and separate latrines and urinal facilities for male and female workers, conveniently situated as may be accessible to the workers at all times. Also, the proportion of the latrines and urinals to the number of workers needs to be maintained as prescribed by the State Government.  First Aid:- That the premise shall have sufficient and proper first aid facilities as prescribed by the State Government.
  • 8. HEALTH HAZARDS 34% 25% 21% 15% 5% Estimated Global work related Mortality 1.1 Million per year (Source: ILO, 1999) Cancer Injuries Chronic Respiration Cardiovascular Other For the health hazards, the State Government should ensure that the work premises have proper health conditions and the workers are provided with sufficient and effective protective gears like helmet, glasses, boots, respiratory mask, etc. Also, the industries which emit out poisonous gases or other hazardous waste material must be located far from the population.
  • 9. DISCRIMINATION  There must be equal pay for equal work and no discrimination should be there on the basis of gender, religion, caste, creed or color. The informal sector industries also needs to work under the purview of Article 14 of the Constitution of India and hence, the State Government and the Inspectors appointed by the State Government must ensure that such discrimination do not happen.  The percentage of women workers against the men is shown below:-  The above table shows that in both rural and urban areas, the number of women workers is lower than men. This is the result of restrictions on the mobility of the women i.e. they are not able to move out of the domestic sphere to the workplace even if they want to.  State Government must ensure that any cases of discrimination against any individual are addressed to and sanctions must be levied on the owners of the informal sector workplace indulging in such discrimination.
  • 10. CONCLUSION  The Government has laid down many welfare schemes regarding the informal sector workers but the major problem comes in the implementation of such schemes.  We already have many legislations like Unorganized Sector Social Security Act, 2008; Minimum Wages Act, 1948; etc. and these legislations are more than sufficient to provide for proper social security measures. The only thing required is proper implementation of these legislations.  Mechanisms like personal liability of the inspector, sanctions on the employees, etc. should be used to ensure the proper implementation of these legislations.
  • 11. REFERENCES  National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector report by committee presided by Arjun Sen Gupta, May, 2006.  Employment and social protection in the informal sector report by committee on employment and Social Policy by International Labour Organization March, 2000.  Reports of the committee on un-organized sectors statics by National Statistical Commission, Government of India, February, 2012.  Informal Economy: Law and Policy Demands Lessons from the WIEGO India Pilot Study by Kamala Sankaran and Roopa Madhav , February, 2012.  Unorganized Workers Social Security Act, 2008  Minimum Wages Act, 1948  Social Protection in the informal economy: Home based women workers and outsourced manufaturing in Asia by UNICEF January, 2002.  Globalization and informal sector in developing countries :A joint study of the International Labour Office and the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization, 2009.  Gender bias in Indian Industries, by Journals of Industrial statics, 2013.