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Is the Municipalities are coverable under ESI Act either under definition of Factory u/s. 2(9) or under definition of establishment u/s. 1(5) of the ESI Act.
Since as per my interpretation there is no blanket exemption of Coverage to Municipalities under the provisions of the ESI Act ?
Learned members may kindly show some light on this subject by keeping view of various contractor workers working in Municipalities in various departments....
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Section 1(4) of the ESI Act specifies that it shall apply not apply to government employee who are
otherwise in receipt of benefits substantially similar or superior to the benefits provided under the
Act. Section 1(4) is reproduced below:
THE EMPLOYEES’ STATE INSURANCE ACT, 1948
[Act No. 34 of 1948]
19th April, 1948
An Act to provide for certain benefits to employees in case of sickness, maternity and ‘
employment injury ’ and to make provision for certain other matters in relation thereto.
(4) It shall apply, in the first instance, to all factories (including factories belonging to
the Government]) other than seasonal factories.
Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall apply to a factory or establishment belonging to or under the control of the Government whose employees are
otherwise in receipt of benefits substantially similar or superior to the benefits provided under this
Act.
But what is not applicable to government employees does not ipso facto exclude applicability on the contract labour as they are NOT in receipt of benefits substantially similar or superior to the benefits provided under the ESI Act. The Municipal Corporations resort to outsourcing water pumping stations, sewage filteration plants etc on contracts and the contract labour engaged in such places do not get any benefit of government health and other schemes so their coverage under ESI is called for.
But it seems there is no point blank judgements which clearly says Municipalities are coverable under ESI Act..
But there are judgements regarding coverage of Sewage pumping stations and water pumping stations to be factories under Factories Act 1948, and by further extension they would be covered under ESI act too.
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