Articles 41, 42 and 43 in part IV of the Constitution enjoin the State to make effective provision for securing the right to work, education and public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness, disablement and in certain other matters incidental thereto. It was to achieve these constitutional goals of socio-economic justice that the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 was enacted by Parliament. The Act being a social security legislation promises to provide certain benefits to employees in cases of sickness, maternity and employment injury. The benefits provided under this Act are available to all employees irrespective of whether they are employed to work inside the factory or establishment, employed directly through the principal employer or indirectly through an intermediate agency, provided the work is incidental to or in connection with the factory or establishment.
The book under review, as the name suggests, is a practical guide book meant to help employers, employees and all those who administer the Employees State Insurance Act. Originally published in 1995, the book is already in its eighth edition which is indicative of its popularity and utility. With every new edition, the author has taken pains to incorporate the latest judicial pronouncements, both of the Supreme Court and the High Courts along with the amendments made in the Act, rules and regulations and the important notifications issued by the Employees' State Insurance Corporation from time-to-time.
Apart from eight chapters under which the whole Act has been dealt with giving the case law on every issue, the book contains the entire text of the ESI Act, 1948; Employees' State Insurance (Central) Rules, 1950; Employees' State Insurance (General) Regulations, 1950; Employees' State Insurance Corporation (General Provident Fund) Rules, 1995; Other Beneficiaries and Members of Their Families Medical Facilities Scheme, 2008 and Important Notifications as also the addresses of ESIC Regional and Sub-Regional Offices.
The noval aspects of the book are two chapters on "Referencer" and the "Day-to-Day Problems and Their Clarifications" containing 55 and 54 issues, respectively. They help to clarify the application of the law to day-to-day situations. A detailed table of cases and a comprehensive subject index are the other two plus points of the book.
The book is thus a ready reckoner on the subject and very useful to lawyers, labour law students, employees and employers alike. Supplemented with good printing and an attractive cover page, the price of Rs. 350 also does not seem to be on the higher side.