Centre, states work to link migrant worker database to job-match portal

Centre, states work to link migrant worker database to job-match portal

India News

With over 8.43 crore informal sector workers having registered with their Aadhaar numbers on the e-Shram portal, the Centre is in touch with states to ensure convergence of social security schemes for them and help match them with employment opportunities.

To this effect, the worker database will be linked with Unnati, the proposed labour-matching platform. Also, when the 38-crore registration target is achieved, officials said, it will provide an insight into the number of migrant workers and even those who were earlier registered with the organised sector.

“Initially, the registration process on the e-Shram portal included a question about whether a worker is a migrant worker, but the question was subsequently done away with. When the registration process reaches its final stage, data will be analysed to mark the difference between home address and work address. If the work address is outside the hometown — that will determine the category of migrant workers,” a senior official said.

This database is also going to be linked to Unnati for blue-collar and grey-collar jobs. Both employers and workers will be able to access this, said an official. “Initial discussions have happened, and work related to linking the database of the e-Shram portal with the Unnati portal will begin in 6-8 weeks,” the official said.

About 400 occupational categories have been added on the portal. “Say, for example, a municipality wants to engage masons or any other workers, they can use the database to identify and hire such workers for local projects,” the official said.

The database will be analysed to check for workers who have had any prior registration with the formal sector through the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) since both registrations have a common format of a 12-digit identification number, Universal Account Number (UAN), officials said.


Lessons from the pandemic

There is a growing discussion within the government that there has to be a universalisation of social security, and schemes have to be tailored according to categories of organised and unorganised workers and those who move between these two categories.

“Discussions are being held with states for better convergence of schemes at the state and Central levels. There is going to be a proper database of Aadhaar-seeded identification of workers, which will help in better streamlining of benefits. This may be a slow process but will be a positive process,” another senior Labour Ministry official said.

The government has already announced linking accidental insurance with registration on the e-Shram portal. If a registered worker meets with an accident, he/she will be eligible for Rs 2 lakh on death or permanent disability and Rs 1 lakh on partial disability.

The e-Shram portal will provide insight for the first time into unorganised sector workers including migrant workers, gig workers, agricultural workers, anganwadi workers, street vendors, domestic workers among others. As of now, such a database is available mainly only for organised workers through the registered workers under EPFO.

Following the pandemic and the lockdown distress, last December, the Labour and Employment Ministry had sought help from other ministries to build a new database for migrant workers and others in the unorganised sector, which it had hoped to operationalise by June this year. The e-Shram portal was formally launched on August 26.

West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand have recorded the highest number of registrations by workers so far.

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