The Employees' State Insurance Act, provides for certain benefits to employees in case of sickness, maternity and employment injury.
The Act extends to the whole of India. It applies to all factories (including Government factories but excluding seasonal factories) employing ten or more persons and carrying on a manufacturing process with the aid of power or employing 20 or more persons and carrying on a manufacturing process without the aid of power and such other establishments as the Government may specify.
A factory or other establishment to which this Act applies, shall continue to be governed by its provisions even if the number of workers employed there in falls below the specified limit or the manufacturing process therein ceases to be carried on with the aid of power, subsequently
The Act does not apply to the following:
- Factories working with the aid of power wherein less than 10 persons are employed;
- Factories working without the aid of power wherein less than 20 persons are employed;
- Seasonal factories engaged exclusively in any of the following activities viz. Cotton ginning, cotton or jute pressing, decortication of groundnuts, the manufacture of coffee, indigo, lac, rubber, sugar (including gur) or tea or any manufacturing process incidental to or connected with any of the aforesaid activities, and including factories engaged for a period not exceeding seven months in a year in blending, packing or repackaging of tea or coffee, or in such other process as may be specified by the Central Government;
- A factory which was exempted from the provisions of the Act as being a 'seasonal factory' will not lose the benefit of the exemption on account of the amendment of the definition of 'seasonal factory';
- Mines subject to the Mines Act, 1952;
- Railway running sheds;
Government factories or establishments, whose employees are in receipt of benefits similar or superior to the benefits provided under the Act and Indian naval, military or air forces.
The appropriate Government may exempt any factory or establishments or class of factories or establishments or any employee or class of employees from the provisions of this Act.