“A proper database of migrant workers is a preliminary step in order to identify and protect vulnerability among them…This data should also be shared with the concerned labour authorities to facilitate compliance with existing labour laws
relating to wages, occupational safety and health and working conditions,” the guidelines said.
States have also been advised to enroll eligible migrant workers under the Ayushman Bharat scheme to provide them health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family a year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.
For construction workers who migrate, states have been advised to incur expenditure towards payment of premium for state insurance schemes. The Building and Other Construction Workers’ welfare funds can be utilised for this purpose, the government has said.
The Centre has asked states to issue guidelines to employers to take care of the needs of migrant workers. Apart from adequate availability of sanitizers, face masks, soaps at the workplace, “employers should also be encouraged to provide one-time transportation allowance/journey fare to migrant workers”.
“Employers should also be encouraged to provide wages according to prevailing labour laws; facilitate provision for suitable housing arrangement, and ensure enrolment of the migrant workmen in existing social security and welfare schemes,” the ministry said.
States have been asked to provide an online single-window grievance redressal system, including a toll-free helpline number to assist the migrant workers in distress.
After the national lockdown
in March, an estimated 500,000-600,000 workers had to walk back home on foot. According to one official estimate, around 8 million workers have migrated back to work after lockdown
restrictions were eased.