Karnataka govt provides health cover for gig workers

Karnataka govt provides health cover for gig workers

The Karnataka Labour Department on September 8 issued a government order, notifying the Rs 4 lakh health insurance cover for gig workers of the state. The figure of gig workers to get benefit of this health cover is estimated to be around two lakh.

Govt. will soon launch a portal for gig workers to apply for the  registration. Fund for the purpose is also provided.

“Once the gig workers register, we will introduce a certification process to identify the beneficiaries. We will soon come out with the parameters and other modalities of the scheme for the implementation,” the  Labour minister also said.

The Labour Department has also tasked Babu Mathew, former Registrar and faculty at the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, to submit a detailed framework of the scheme. Mathew was a part of the trade union movement and various other social movements to take up the issues of bonded labour, child labour and displacement and destruction of livelihoods of the marginalised.

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Once the scheme is rolled out, the gig workers in the unorganised sector, who are employed as full time/part time delivery personnel in e-commerce companies like Swiggy, Zomato, Amazon etc, are set to benefit from this accidental cover. Karnataka is only second after Rajasthan to provide health insurance for gig workers.

According to the notification, hospital expenses of up to Rs 1 lakh will be reimbursed and benefits will apply in cases of accidents on duty and off duty, but only for active workers. A beneficiary or a nominee can submit applications within one year of the accident or death.

Gig workers aged between 18 and 60, those not falling under the tax bracket, and individuals not currently availing of PF/ESI benefits are eligible for the insurance. Anyone who has been working as a gig worker with any e-commerce company for at least six months will also be eligible for the scheme.

The order stated that gig workers under the influence of alcohol or drugs on duty, leading to an accident or death, will not be eligible for scheme benefits. Further, the worker’s family cannot claim benefits in the event of the gig worker’s suicide, intentional harm to others, or accidents caused by mental instability, it said.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in his Budget speech had announced an insurance facility worth Rs 4 lakh which includes life insurance of Rs 2 lakh and accidental insurance of Rs 2 lakh. The entire insurance premium will be borne by the government.

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