Kerala

IT sector to have an employee welfare fund

Responding to a long-pending demand from employees in the IT sector, the State Cabinet on Wednesday decided to form a welfare fund for those working in the IT and allied sectors. The new welfare fund will be under the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishment Workers Welfare Board. Pension, family pension, pregnancy and marriage-related benefits, medical aid, aid for the education of children, and aid for family in case of deaths are part of the welfare fund.

Even smaller IT firms with less than 10 employees will be included under the new welfare fund. According to the government’s estimates, there are more than two lakh employees in the IT and allied sectors. Employees as well as their family members will be coming under the welfare fund. Those aged between 18 and 55 years, and working in IT or allied sectors, are eligible for membership in the welfare fund.

According to those employed in the IT sector, they have been raising the demand for a welfare fund for employees for the past few years.

“It was in 2016 that we had first raised this demand with the government. Since then, we have been raising this demand at various forums and in representations to the Chief Minister as well as the MLAs. Most recently, this demand was raised again in the CM’s interaction with those from the IT sector,” said a representative of Prathidhwani, socio-cultural organisation of IT employees in Kerala.

With increasing insecurity in their jobs following instances of layoffs from some companies, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak, the IT employees have been demanding the welfare fund as a security net. Though no lay-offs have happened in recent months, the precarious nature of jobs in the sector has ensured that this demand has always been a constant in the past few years.

Welfare organisations of IT sector employees including Progressive Techies and Prathidhwani put up Facebook posts lauding the decision. They have also reacted positively to the government’s recent decision to waive off a part of the rent for IT companies functioning out of government buildings.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 6:22:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/it-sector-to-have-an-employee-welfare-fund/article33924707.ece

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