Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
This scheme is based on the assumption that responsibility for the medical and for the financial benefits will be separated. The former could be undertaken by Government, possibly on a non-contributory basis, and the latter through employers on the basis of contributions by themselves and by the workers. In India, the extension of medical facilities by the State offers advantages which are less likely to be secured by a scheme of private medical service based on a system of insurance, and the need of such extension is everywhere evident. It should not be difficult to devise arrangements whereby such medical services as are maintained by private employers may continue to operate in conjunction with a State scheme. Public expenditure directed towards the assistance of private schemes might in many cases produce more substantial results than equivalent sums devoted directly to State provision. So far as sick allowances are concerned, the employer might be required to deduct a certain percentage of wages to credit this to a fund, and to add thereto contributions of an equivalent amount, or rather more in the case of the more poorly paid. Workers who had contributed to the fund for a minimum period, e.g., one year, might, if certified as sick and likely to remain so for more than a specified short period, be granted sick leave. Provision might have to be made for some refund to those workers who left employment after subscribing and before they had been covered by the insurance for a reasonable period. The period of leave need not bear a strict relation to the duration of the illness, but could be fixed on some arbitrary lines, e.g., to begin with, a fortnight in some cases and a month in others, and it would be subject to an absolute limit, e.g. one month in any year. During the period of sickness, the worker would be entitled to a proportion of his wages which would be paid from the fund by the employer. In the initial stages it would be possible for the employer to appoint the medical officer who would grant certificates, but it would be necessary to ensure that the employer was not in a position to benefit from the accumulation of a balance in the fund. The supervision and audit of funds by the State would be necessary. After providing a suitable reserve for epidemics and other emergencies, the balance could be devoted towards increasing the annual period of sick leave that could be granted.
Similarly, if on account of the number of claims, the income of the fund proved unequal to the expenditure, it would be necessary to reduce the periods to secure solvency. Such schemes could operate on the basis of single establishments, where these were large enough, and small establishments might be combined for the purpose.