Social Security refers to a concept that consists of a set of government programs or schemes that are aimed at providing monetary assistance to the needy, sick or unemployed people. As per the definition stated by ILO, social security refers to the security provided by the appropriate organization against certain risks.
- The definition of ILO focuses on provisions that support an individual or his/her family and protect them from falling into contingent poverty. Various contingencies as per ILO are as follows:
- Medical care for the worker
- Work injury
- Death of the worker
- The two important tools for providing social security are as follows:
- Social insurance and
- Social assistance
1) Social Insurance refers to a program in which the government takes part in the insurance scheme and protects an individual in times of emergencies.
- It prevents an individual from falling into poverty and misery.
2) Social insurance involves contributions made by employees, employers and the government.
- The claims of the individuals may depend on the contributions made by them.
- The government may fix monthly contributions to be made by the employees and employers.
3) The government decides the upper wage limit and the workers falling under this should take part in the social insurance scheme formulated by it.
1) Social assistance refers to a program or a scheme that is aimed to provide income security to the poor and needy persons. This will enable them to access basic services like education, health, food, etc.
2) Some of the social assistance programs are as follows:
- Workmen’s Compensation
- Maternity benefit
- Food for work program
- Old age pension
3) All these programs are to be funded completely by the government.
4) To get benefits under a social assistance scheme, an individual should fulfil all the conditions prescribed by the government.
Articles related to social security
1) Article 39(a) provides the right to an adequate means of livelihood.
2) Article 41 states that the state shall make effective provisions for securing the following, in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want:
- Right to work.
- Right to education.
- Right to public assistance.
3) Articles 42 states that the state shall make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.
4) Article 43 states that the state shall work on promoting cottage industries on an individual or co-operative basis and to secure the following by suitable legislation or economic organisation to all the agricultural or industrial workers:
- A living wage.
- Conditions of work to ensure a decent standard of life.
- Full enjoyment of leisure.
- Social and cultural opportunities.
Labour laws related to Social security
1) Workmen Compensation Act, 1923 was the earliest step in the field of social insurance in our country. This act has been amended several times and it contains provisions that deal with various employment-related injuries.
2) The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 was designed to provide cash benefit in the case of sickness, maternity and employment injury and to provide medical benefits to the employees and their families.
3) The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 is an act to provide maternity and certain other benefits for certain periods before and after child-birth.
4) The main purpose of the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 is to secure the future of the industrial workers after their retirement and their dependents in case of their early death.
5) Under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, gratuity shall be payable to an employee on the termination of his/her employment on the following grounds after he/she has rendered continuous service for not less than five years:
- Retirement or resignation.
- Death or disablement due to accident or disease.
- If the termination of the employment is due to death or disablement, five years of continuous service shall not be necessary.
6) The Seamen’s Provident Fund Act, 1966 was passed to establish a provident fund for seamen. This act generally follows the pattern of the Employees Provident Funds Act, 1952.
7) The Assam Tea Plantation Provident Fund Act, 1955 was passed to cover only resident adult persons.
- Later, it was amended in 1958 to cover non-resident workers, clerical, medical and other staff.
- The amendment of the act made in 1960 covered children and adolescents.
- The amendment made in 1967 added the provision for the pension fund.
8) The Employees’ Deposit-Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976 was introduced to provide insurance cover without the payment of any premium to the employees covered under the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
- Social security refers to the security provided by the appropriate organization against certain risks.
- Social Insurance refers to a program in which the government takes part in the insurance scheme and protects an individual in times of emergencies.
- The social assistance programs provide income security to the poor and needy persons.
- Some of the important labour laws related to social security are as follows:
- Workmen Compensation Act, 1923.
- The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948.
- The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961.
- The Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
- The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.
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