ESI Act [ 19th April,1948]

          In addition to the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter, man also needs security in times of sickness, disablement etc. The promulgation of Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 (ESI Act), by the Parliament was the first major legislation on social Security for workers. The act aimed at upholding human dignity in times of crises. Thus, India, took the lead in providing organized social protection to the working class.

          Preamble -"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."The ESI Act 1948, encompasses certain health related eventualities such as sickness, maternity, temporary or permanent disablement, Occupational disease or death due to employment injury, resulting in loss of wages or earning capacity.
The ESI Act applies to non-seasonal factories employing ten or more persons in a power using factory and twenty or more persons in a non-power using factory. The provisions have also been extended gradually to other establishments such as shops, hotels and restaurants, road and motor transport undertakings, newspaper establishments and cinema halls.

           Employees of covered factories and establishments drawing wages only upto Rs. 15000/- per month are entitled to health insurance cover. Wage ceiling for purpose of coverage is revised from time to time, to keep pace with the rising cost of living and subsequent wage hikes.