Labour Ministry seeks Aadhaar details of the beneficiaries under Social Security Code

Under Section 142 of the Social Security Code, 2020, an employee or unorganised worker should establish his/her identity through the Aadhaar number for obtaining benefits under the Social Security Code. Accordingly, the Ministry of Labour and Employment notified this section on Wednesday to seek the Aadhaar details of the beneficiaries under the Social Security Code.

The Ministry will collect the Aadhaar details for entering them into the database of the beneficiaries maintained under the code. The National Database for Unorganised Workers (NDUW) that the National Informatics Centre is developing is currently at an advanced stage. The NDUW portal aims to collect data of unorganised workers, including the migrant workers, to provide them with the benefits of the various government schemes.  

An inter-state migrant worker can also register on the portal by himself by submitting just the Aadhaar card. All the social security schemes and benefits will flow through this portal. It will also record the skill set and other details of the unorganised and migrant workers. 

The NDUW portal will be used for enrollment, registration, collection and identification of the required data of all the workers. All the social security schemes will be structured around this portal, and it will act as the primary database. The Ministry hopes to cover at least 25 crore unorganised workers under the social security schemes in five years.

The Ministry is planning to extend health insurance, old-age pension, disability aids and numerous other benefits to all sections, including platform, migrant and gig workers under the Social Security Code. Currently, only about one-tenth of the country’s working population come under some social security covers.

Section 142 of the Social Security Code provides that the Aadhaar number is necessary for the employees and the unorganised workers to register as members or beneficiaries for obtaining benefits under the Social Security Code. The benefits include obtaining benefits in cash or kind, gratuity, maternity benefits, medical sickness benefit, withdrawal of funds or pension under the Social Security Code.

However, the Aadhaar number is not mandatory for receiving benefits under the social security schemes currently as the government has not yet implemented the Social Security Code. The government is finalising the rules under the code. This notification issued on Wednesday will enable the Labour Ministry to ask for the Aadhaar number from the beneficiaries under the code. The objective of the notification is to collect the Aadhaar number of the beneficiaries to start creating the databases of the unorganised workers.

In the notification, the Ministry clarified that the non-submission of Aadhaar would not result in non-delivery of services and benefits under the social security schemes. This notification is issued only for collecting data of the workers. The Labour Ministry will collect the 12-digit Aadhaar identification number from the employees and unorganised workers to register for receiving social security schemes benefits. 

The unorganised workers will benefit from this notification. Those without an Aadhaar card can obtain Aadhaar before implementing the Social Security Code to register for social security benefits. Those having an Aadhaar can provide the details to the Labour Ministry and register on the NDUW portal for obtaining the social security benefits. 

Before introducing the Social Security Code, the unorganised sector could not fully obtain the social security benefits. The Social Security Code will cover all workers, including the migrant, gig and platform workers under the social security schemes that are much needed in the present situation to meet their medical and such other expenses.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at mayashree.acharya@cleartax.in

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