Why Do We Need Social Security
Social Security protects not just the subscriber but also his/her entire family by giving benefit packages in financial security and health care. Social Security schemes are designed to guarantee at least long-term sustenance to families when the earning member retires, dies or suffers a disability. Thus the main strength of the Social Security system is that it acts as a facilitator - it helps people to plan their own future through insurance and assistance. The success of Social Security schemes however requires the active support and involvement of employees and employers.As a worker/employee, you are a source of Social Security protection for yourself and your family. As an employer you are responsible for providing adequate social security coverage to all your workers.Background information on Social Security India has always had a Joint Family system that took care of the social security needs of all the members provided it had access/ownership of material assets like land. In keeping with its cultural traditions, family members and relatives have always discharged a sense of shared responsibility towards one another. To the extent that the family has resources to draw upon, this is often the best relief for the special needs and care required by the aged and those in poor health.However with increasing migration, urbanization and demographic changes there has been a decrease in large family units. This is where the formal system of social security gains importance. However, information and awareness are the vital factors in widening the coverage of Social Security schemes.Social Security Benefits in India are Need-based i.e. the component of social assistance is more important in the publicly-managed schemes- In the Indian context, Social Security is a comprehensive approach designed to prevent deprivation, assure the individual of a basic minimum income for himself and his dependents and to protect the individual from any uncertainties. The State bears the primary responsibility for developing appropriate system for providing protection and assistance to its workforce. Social Security is increasingly viewed as an integral part of the development process. It helps to create a more positive attitude to the challenge of globalization and the consequent structural and technological changes.
Workforce In India
The dimensions and complexities of the problem in India can be better appreciated by taking into consideration the extent of the labour force in the organized and unorganized sectors. The latest NSSO survey of 1999-2000 has brought out the vast dichotomy between these two sectors into sharp focus. While as per the 1991 census, the total workforce was about 314 million and the organized sector accounted for only 27 million out of this workforce, the NSSO’s survey of 1999-2000 has estimated that the workforce may have increased to about 397 million out of which only 28 million were in the organized sector. Thus, it can be concluded from these findings that there has been a growth of only about one million in the organized sector in comparison the growth of about 55 million in the unorganized sector.Organized and Unorganized SectorsThe organized sector includes primarily those establishments which are covered by the Factories Act, 1948, the Shops and Commercial Establishments Acts of State Governments, the Industrial Employment Standing Orders Act, 1946 etc.This sector already has a structure through which social security benefits are extended to workers covered under these legislations. The unorganized sector on the other hand, is characterized by the lack of labour law coverage, seasonal and temporary nature of occupations, high labour mobility, dispersed functioning of operations, casualization of labour, lack of organizational support, low bargaining power, etc. all of which make it vulnerable to socio-economic hardships. The nature of work in the unorganized sector varies...
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