Maids, construction labourers, electricians, plumbers…..there are so many people around us who are surviving without any job security. They can be fired at any minute and may also sometimes not be paid for the work already done. While termination during COVID-19 was the new normal, these people also suffered the pandemic without any savings. Basically, it’s all good until they are working. But what happens in their old age? To answer all such discrepancies, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India brought the labour card (also termed as shramik card, e-labour card or e-shram card).

There are plethora of statutes in the name of labour laws that are functional in India. However, crores of people employed in the unorganised sector earning wages on a daily basis were not benefited under any of them. The plight of the unorganised sector remained unheard of until recently when creation of a database of such workers through labour card/ e-shram card was introduced by the central government. The idea is to have them listed with the government records just like a workman is under the industry payroll. This way, whenever some government scheme is introduced for the unorganised workers, it can directly benefit them without the need of separate registration campaigns with middle men taking unscrupulous advantages.

What is a Labour Card?
For those working in the unorganised sector as domestic workers, construction labourers, milkmen, carpenters, painters, plumbers, etc., the central and state governments have introduced the labour card/ e-shram card/ shramik card. Persons engaged in the listed professions have to register themselves to obtain a Universal Account Number (UAN). Then what is the benefit of shramik card? The labour card benefits allow the government to reach out to the unorganised sector through various employment and social welfare schemes. That way, benefits of labour card are numerous based on the industry/ category of the scheme one falls under.