Prioritizing the welfare of its workforce, the Punjab Government, led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann has introduced an Accident Compensation Policy for employees of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
Revealing this here today, Power Minister Harbhajan Singh ETO said that the policy, effective from December 8, 2023, is designed to provide financial support to employees, including regular, contractual, and sub-contractual workers, in the face of work-related accidents. “Under the new policy, regular employees of PSPCL will not only receive accidental benefits but also have access to medical advances of up to 3 lakhs during emergencies, ensuring that they face no financial difficulties in obtaining necessary medical treatment”, he added.
Power Minister emphasized the significance of the policy in addressing the evolving demands and changing circumstances faced by the employees. “In a move to better support workers working on contractual terms, the ex-gratia assistance for fatal accidents has been increased from 5 lakhs to 10 lakhs. Additionally, the amount of group insurance for such workers has been raised from 5 lakhs to 10 lakhs, providing enhanced financial protection”, he said.
“Before the introduction of this policy, workers in the contractual and sub-contractual categories did not receive any financial benefits in the event of non-fatal accidents. The new policy addresses this gap by ensuring that, in the event of 100 percent disability, an amount of 10 lakhs will be paid. Moreover, compensation for disabilities will be determined proportionately based on the severity of the incident,” he said.
ETO said that the new policy also brings about a notable increase in compensation for non-adult private individuals who were previously subject to limited compensation. He stated, “Realizing the risks our staff faces in ensuring uninterrupted power supply, PSPCL has formulated a comprehensive policy for the proper implementation of compensations related to accidents.”
Power Minister said that this move by the Punjab Government reflects a commitment to the safety and well-being of the workforce in the power sector. He said that the comprehensive Accident Compensation Policy is expected to serve as a model for other states, fostering a culture of employee-centric policies and ensuring that those who contribute to essential services are adequately protected.
• The old accidental compensation mechanism and the new compensation policy for regular employees, contractual workers directly hired by PSPCL, contractual workers through contractors/outsourced agencies, and private persons show notable differences.
• For regular employees, there is no change in the scheme in case of fatal accidents, the new policy continues to maintain the provision for Rs 10 Lakh ex-gratia payment, Group insurance of Rs 1 lakh and medical bill reimbursement as per government norms. However, there is now a provision for medical advance for the treatment of injured employees immediately after an accident due to electrocution. There was no such provision earlier.
• Contractual workers; both directly hired and through contractors/outsourced agencies, witness a significant improvement in the compensation policy. In case of fatal accidents, the ex-gratia amount has increased from Rs. 5.00 Lakh to Rs. 10.00 Lakh, and the group insurance coverage has also doubled to Rs 10 lakh. Additionally, the new policy introduces provisions for ex-gratia in case of disability and disablement benefits based on the terms and conditions of group insurance.
• For private persons, both adult and minor, the compensation remains in accordance with the provisions of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923, as per PSPCL’s Delegation of Powers Regulation No.130.