CENTRE TO INCENTIVISE WORK-FROM-HOME JOBS
05, Mar 2019
Prelims level : Economy Mains level : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
The government is working on a scheme to push work-from-home jobs in the IT sector by offering financial incentives to both employees and employers.
- Currently, the scheme is proposed for a three-year period till March 31, 2022, with an outlay of about
270 crore to create about 50,000 work-from-home jobs.
- According to the report, the scheme aims to create about 50,000 work-from-home jobs, especially for women and differently-abled persons, in the three-year period till March 31, 2022.
- The objective behind incentivizing work-from-home jobs through policy-level initiatives can help in creating jobs in the information technology enabled services (ITES) while increasing the available talent pool for the sector.
- There is abundant talent pool in the country, especially women, who are not able to join full-time office jobs.
- Under the ‘work-from-home’ policy, the government may extend relaxation in labour laws. It can be similar to the exemptions given to start-ups under the Startup India programme.
- The report further suggested that the scheme may be launched as phase II of the IT Ministry’s India BPO Promotion Scheme that incentivises firms to set up operations in tier-2 and tier-3 cities in the country. It is distributed among each state in proportion to the state’s population with an outlay of Rs 493 crore.
- Due to stringent labor laws, the companies do not recruit people for work-from-home jobs on part-time basis, but on contract. For contract-based jobs, companies don’t need to provide PF and other job benefits. In 2016, the government had announced exemption for start-ups from nine labour laws, including the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, Contract.
- Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 and Employees State Insurance Act, 1948.
- Besides, it is proposed that employees be provided support for 50% of the cost of a laptop (₹10,000 cap) or smartphone (up to ₹5,000), along with up to ₹350 per month for broadband. Government is also thinking about offering salary-based incentives to incentivize employees to stick to work-from-home jobs.
- And also, that additional incentive would be given to women employees, differently-abled, SC/ST and those from aspirational (backward) districts.
- To avail benefits under the work-from-home scheme, employees will need to have an Aadhaar-linked Universal Account Number.
- For employers, among other things, the policy proposes to provide 50% of the actual expenditure on technical infrastructure required for enabling such jobs, with a cap of 10,000 per job.