Representational Image/ Pension
Representational Image/ Pension
Pixabay

Net new enrolments with retirement fund body EPFO rose to 6.55 lakh in June from 1.72 lakh during May 2020, according to its latest payroll data, providing a perspective on employment in the formal sector amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Provisional payroll data released by the EPFO last month had shown that net new enrolments stood at 3.18 lakh in May this year. The figure has now been revised to 1,72,174.

The net new enrolments with the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had dropped to 5.72 lakh in March 2020 from 10.21 lakh in February, as per the payroll data released in May.

Latest data released on Thursday showed that net new enrolments in April were just 20,164 compared to the provisional figure of 1 lakh released in July.

The net new enrolments with the EPFO hover around 7 lakh every month on an average.

During 2019-20, the number of net new subscribers rose to 78.58 lakh as compared to 61.12 lakh in the preceding fiscal, according to the payroll data released on Thursday.

The EPFO has been releasing the payroll data of new subscribers since April 2018, covering the period starting from September 2017.

The data also showed that during September 2017-June 2020, the number of net new subscribers was around 1.63 crore.

EPFO said the payroll data is provisional as updation of employees' records is a continuous process and gets updated in subsequent months.

"The government announced lockdown on March 24, 2020. Accordingly ECR (PF returns) filing date for March month was extended to May 15, 2020," the EPFO had said in May while releasing the data.

In June, it had said, "The due date for submission of ECRs for April 2020 has been extended in view of the lockdown." Meanwhile, a labour ministry statement said the subscriber base of the EPFO increased by around 8.47 lakh during the first quarter of FY21.

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak had adversely affected the enrolments in the month of April and May 2020, it added.

Despite the lockdown, around 0.20 lakh and 1.72 lakh net new subscribers were added to social security schemes of EPFO in the month of April and May 2020.

The month of June has seen speedy recovery with addition of 6.55 lakh net subscribers, registering a remarkable 280 per cent month-on-month growth. The data published comprises all the new members who have joined during the month and whose contribution is received, it added.

The new subscribers joining has increased roughly by 64 per cent from 3.03 lakh in May to 4.98 lakh in June 2020.

In addition, the exits from EPFO subscriber base declined by nearly 33 per cent from 4.45 lakh in May to 2.96 lakh in June 2020.

The number of members who exited and then rejoined, indicates switching of jobs by subscribers within the establishments covered by EPFO.

This has also increased by approximately 44 per cent for the month of June over May 2020, with more subscribers choosing to retain membership by transferring funds rather than opting for final settlement.

Gender wise analysis highlights that the new enrolment of female workers improved from 37,085 in April to 1,06,059 in June 2020 in absolute terms, even though the overall female participation in workforce remains low, it said.

Category wise, 'expert services' category had a share of about 46 per cent and 45 per cent during 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively.

In the first quarter of 2020-21 it stands at 52.7 per cent, which shows that while many industries are yet to recover, the 'expert services' category has made good progress.

Expert services predominantly consist of manpower agencies, private security agencies and small contractors.

The absolute figure for net enrolment in expert services category during June 2020 is 3.45 lakh, which is more than the monthly average of 3 lakh during 2019-20.

The new establishments that remitted their first ECR have grown from its low of 820 in April 2020 to 1,802 in May.

The trend continued in June, with 2,390 establishments registering their first ECR, recording a month-on-month growth of 32 per cent.

The estimates are net of the new members enrolled, members exited and rejoined during the month, as per records of EPFO.

The estimates may include temporary employees whose contributions may not be continuous for the entire year, it has said.

The EPFO manages social security funds of workers in the organised/semi-organised sector in India.

It has more than 6 crore active members (with at least one month contribution during the year).

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