Labour Ministry has decided to extend social security cover to all casual municipal workersThe Labour Ministry has directed Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to extend coverage under ESI Act to all casual and contractual workers employed with municipal bodies in the country. This will enable lakhs of such people to avail a social security cover under which they will get sickness, maternity, disability and dependent benefits.Significantly, these workers will be eligible to avail medical services through vast network of ESI facilities like 160 hospitals and over 1,500 dispensaries all over the country. ESIC has been asked to take up the matter of providing social security cover to all casual and contractual workers with the respective state governments, under whose jurisdiction the municipal fall.Notifications for ESI coverage are issued by states. The coverage shall be extended to those casual and contractual employees, agencies and establishments which are within the implemented areas already notified under the ESI Act, 1948 by the Central Government.For National Capital Region of Delhi, the Central Government being the appropriate government under the ESI Act, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has already issued the notification for this purpose on June 7, 2021 to it.Announcing the decision, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said that though lakhs of casual workers work under the jurisdiction of municipal councils and corporations, due to lack of any social security, they are a vulnerable lot. Therefore the decision to extend the benefits to them under the ESI Act will address this concern.