Who is Unorganized Worker? Various Categories

Unorganized workers are those who do not fit into any of the other classes. They include domestic servants, home-based workers, beggars, and migrant labourers. These workers work under extremely unhygienic and inhumane conditions but all their earnings go to the owners of these industries.

These workers do not have any labor union or any social security benefits. They have no access to health care, education and training facilities. Despite working for long hours, they are paid very less.

The conditions under which these workers work can be improved by proper government policies and regulations. The government should take necessary steps to improve the condition of these workers by providing them with social security benefits, medical facilities, and other benefits like daily wages, pensions, holidays, etc.

Who is Unorganized Worker

Categories of Unorganized Worker

The categories of unorganized Workers include:

  • (i) Unorganised sector workers: These comprise workers in the unorganised sector not having a written contract of employment and without any social security benefits.
  • (ii) Self-employed: These are the people who work on their own account or with one or a few employees.
  • (iii) Casual Labourers: These are those who are employed on daily wages or on-task work or piece-rate work.
  • (iv) Contract Labourers: Workers employed by contractors for construction or maintenance of public utilities, buildings, roads, railways, etc.

Unorganized Workers refers to the informal sector of an economy, which is characterized by the absence of long-term job contracts, unions, or other forms of worker representation. Unorganized Workers can be distinguished from organized labor, which is found informal sectors and includes employees who have relatively permanent jobs and access to union representation.

Unorganized Workers are also referred to as casual labor or day labor. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that more than 80 percent of workers in developing countries work in the unorganized sector.

According to the ILO, workers in unorganized sectors are typically employed on a casual basis, with little or no job security and without access to social benefits such as health insurance and pensions.

The lack of job security and low wages earned by members of the unorganized sector can result in poverty and a lack of financial stability for their families. The sector also faces other challenges, including occupational hazards that can result in accidents or illness, illiteracy, and a lack of adequate infrastructure.

A majority of workers in unorganized labor sectors are employed in agriculture-related fields, but the sector may also include home-based work, domestic work, construction work, and all other forms of employment that are not included within the formal sector.

Govt Steps for Unorganized Workers

Unorganized workers include workers in the informal sector and other precarious employment. They are not covered by any social security and welfare schemes. The government is taking steps to provide the basic minimum facilities such as life and disability cover, health cover, old age protection, and maternity benefits. Some of these steps are as follows:

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY): It provides multiple benefits such as cashless insurance for hospitalization of up to Rs 30,000 per year in a networked public or private hospital. RSBY also covers domiciliary treatment which requires medical treatment at home due to lack of infrastructure or unavailability of care at hospitals. It also includes non-allopathic treatments like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy.

Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan Yojana: The scheme PM-SYM was made to protect unorganized workers who perform work like street vendors, agriculture-related work, construction site workers, workers in industries of leather, handloom, mid-day meal, rickshaw or auto wheelers, rag picking, carpenters, Hamals, fisherman’s, etc. the scheme aimed to give them social security who are not engaged in EPFO/ESIC and who does not qualify to be taxpayer between the age of 18-40 years.

National Pension Scheme For Traders And The Self-employed Persons: This scheme was made under Unorganized Workers Social Security Act, 2008 section 3(1) for Vyapari to protect them in their old age. This scheme’s objective is to provide social security and old age protection to the shopkeepers/ traders/ self-employed people called the vyapari’s between the age of 18-40 years who are not engaged in EPFO/ESIC/PM-SYM. having annual turnover not more than 1.5 Crore in rupees. They are the shopkeepers or owners who have petty or small shops, restaurants, hotels, real estate brokers, etc.

Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM-SYM) scheme: The Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM-SYM) scheme is a pension scheme for unorganised sector workers with incomes of less than Rs. 15,000 per month. It was launched on 15 February 2019 by the Government of India.

Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana: The scheme was brought by the GOI for the people whose family income falls below the poverty line (BPL) or marginally above the BPL covered under vocational group and are between the age of 18-59 years. This scheme acts as a social security scheme because it provides for insurance cover for the people who are categorized under vocational groups or rural landless households such as fishermen, rikshaw pullers, beedi workers, brick kiln workers, lady tailors, tannery workers, papad workers, primary milk producers, tendu leaf collectors, forest workers, etc.

Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana: Under this scheme, the government will provide monetary support to those who will get unemployed. This will be available to those who have worked for at least 2 years preceding the date of unemployment. Only those persons who were insured and have contributed for a minimum of 78 days during the previous four contribution periods. ESI Act 1948, section 2(9), covers those employees who are eligible for this scheme.

Central Sector Scheme For Rehabilitation Of Bonded Labourer, 2016: This scheme was first introduced in 1975 when it was the state government’s duty to identify, rescue, and rehabilitate the bonded labor and the central government would assist them in financial terms on 50-50 basis. The scheme has been changed since then several times and now in 2016.

Gatidhara Scheme For Self-employment: Gatidhara is a scheme launched by the West Bengal government. This scheme was related to the transport department for giving employment to the youth who has registered themselves as unemployed. They would get employment in the transport sector of the West Bengal state.

Grant In Aid Scheme To NGOs For Welfare Of Women Labour: This scheme was bought by the government to create awareness among women laborer’s as we all know they are not much educated and aware about their rights so the government planned to provide them with knowledge of what they can have.

Atal Pension Yojana: This scheme is aimed at providing social security to the employees of the private sector or those unorganized sectors who do not offer pension benefits to their employees on their retirement. If someone wants to vail themselves under this scheme, he/she should be an Indian citizen and between the age of 18-40 years have a bank account linked with Aadhar.

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana: This scheme is to provide socio-economic security to the BPL workers by providing them with health insurance. A person with a family of five members can enroll in this scheme if he is categorized under BPL. The central government will contribute 75% of the amount and 25% will be contributed by the state government. The beneficiaries only have to pay thirty rupees of registration (per annum for all) as a premium.

Revised Integrated Housing Scheme: The scheme intends to help workers working in mines like iron, manganese, limestone, mica, etc. the workers for a minimum of one year period should be registered with labor welfare organization. The applicant must not have any pucca house of his own or of his house or anyone related to him in Indian territory. The applicant must not have availed the benefit of any other housing scheme previously. It is also required that the applicant must have land for residential purposes either owned or leased for 20 years which can be extended. 

Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana: The scheme was bought by the government of India to promote employment opportunities for migrant workers, in June 2020 with a budget of 50,000 crore rupees. This scheme was bought because of COVID-19 during which many workers were shifted from one place to another having huge losses in their livelihood because of loss of employment during the lockdown period.

Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana: This scheme was introduced in 2005 for providing insurance benefits to the workers of the handloom industry, as we can see the scheme provides insurance benefits to the handloom industry workers if they happen any casualty which leads to death or disability partial or full.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana (Day): Ajeevika scheme was replaced by DAY, the purpose of DAY is to skill people to train them in rural and in urban areas as well. Its target was to train half a million people from an urban areas and one million people from rural are by the end of 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Nirman Kamgar Awas Shayata Yojana: Construction Workers mostly come from the poor or rural sections of the society. Therefore, most of them do not have the convenience of their home. Nor do they have enough money to build or buy their own house. Keeping this in mind, the Uttar Pradesh Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board run the ‘Construction Worker’s Housing Assistance Scheme’ for construction workers. Under this, workers are given financial assistance to build or buy a house.

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