Workers in state-owned tea gardens to be enrolled in social security fundThere are around 40 permanent and more than 150 seasonal workers in such plantations.
Workers at government owned tea gardens are finally being added to the contribution based social security fund. The process started after the central office of National Tea and Coffee Development Board issued a circular to branch offices recently.
There are seven tea gardens across the country owned by the government.
The gardens, operating under the management of the board, are in Fikkal, Mangalbare and Jasbire in Ilam, Lalikharka in Panchthar, Solma in Terhathum, and Hile in Dhankuta of Province 1. Similarly, another garden is in Ranipauwa in Nuwakot of Bagmati Province.
The government had established these gardens under the tea expansion project to promote tea farming among locals.
“We are working to enlist workers of these seven plantations in an online registry,” said Indra Prasad Adhikari, chief of the board’s regional office in Birtamode, Jhapa.
There are around 40 permanent and more than 150 seasonal workers in these plantations spread over an area of more than 125 acres.
“We are excited to know about the attempt to enrol tea plantation workers in the social security fund after four years since the implementation of the social security act,” said Deepak Tamang, president of Nepal Tea Garden Labour Union.
The government enacted the Contribution Based Social Security Act on August 13, 2017 and brought it into practice on November 19, 2018.
Bishnu Prasad Bhattrai, executive director of the board, notified the branch offices to enrol the employees as per Section 10 of the Act which states that workers will receive drug treatment and health protection, maternity protection, accident insurance, disability allowance, old age protection plan, dependent family protection plan, unemployment assistance and other social security plans specified by the fund.
Similarly, Labour Act 2017 has made provisions of fund, gratitude and insurance for workers.
Section 52 of the act mentions that the employer shall deduct 10 percent of the basic remuneration of each labourer, and the government will contribute an equal amount to the provident fund.
Similarly section 53 states that the employer shall deduct an amount equivalent to 8.33 percent of the basic remuneration of each labourer each month and deposit it for the purpose of gratuity.
Section 54 mentions that the employer shall procure an annual medical insurance of at least Rs100,000 for each labourer. And according to section 55 of the act, the employer shall procure accidental insurance worth Rs700,000 for the worker.