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ESI Rate: What is the Applicable ESI Rate?


The Employee State Insurance Scheme (ESI) stands as a cornerstone of social security in India, providing a safety net for employees and their families in times of need. Administered by the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), this scheme offers financial protection during sickness, maternity, disability, or unfortunate events leading to death due to employment-related injuries. Both employers and employees must understand ESI rates, their calculations, and the related processes. This knowledge is crucial to ensuring everyone follows the rules and can fully benefit from this essential social security measure.

What is the Employee State Insurance Scheme (ESI)?

The genesis of the ESI scheme can be traced back to the ESI Act of 1948, a landmark piece of legislation aimed at safeguarding the interests of the working class. This scheme operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India. It seeks to provide comprehensive medical care and cash benefits to employees covered under the ESI Act.

Under the ESI Act, employers and employees contribute to the ESI fund, ensuring a cоllective approach to financing and benefiting from the scheme. For example, if an employee earns a monthly salary of ₹30,000, the employer and the employee would contribute to the ESI fund based on this salary.

The contributions made by both parties are computed based on the employee's wages, a factor that plays a pivotal role in determining the ESI rates. For instance, if an employee's monthly wage increases to ₹40,000, the contributions to the ESI fund would also increase proportionally. Conversely, if the employee's wages decrease to ₹25,000, the contributions will decrease accordingly. This dynamic nature illustrates how the ESI rates are directly influenced by the varying income levels of employees in Indian rupees.

How are Wages Defined as per the ESI Act?

Inclusions in Wages

Wages, as per the ESI Act, encompass various components. It includes all remuneration paid or payable to an employee, both cash and kind. This includes basic pay, dearness allowance, house rent allowance, overtime payment, bonus, and any other additional emoluments agreed upon in the terms of employment. This act takes a broad perspective to cover all possible forms of compensation provided to employees.

Exclusions from Wages

While the definition of wages is inclusive, the ESI Act also outlines certain exclusions. For instance, contributions to a provident fund, gratuities, payments made towards a pension fund, and travel allowances are expressly excluded from the calculation of wages. This delineation is crucial for maintaining clarity and consistency in assessing contributions.

Impact on Contribution Calculation

Understanding the nuances of wage components is vital for employers and employees, as it directly affects the calculation of ESI contributions. Employers must accurately assess and include all applicable components in the wages of covered employees to determine the correct contribution amount. Failure to do so can result in non-compliance and legal implications.

Regular Revisions and Updates

The definition of wages under the ESI (Employee State Insurance) Act isn't fixed; it gets reviewed and updated regularly. This ensures the Act aligns with current employment practices and economic conditions. Employers should keep themselves updated on these changes to ensure they follow the latest rules and stay compliant with the evolving regulations.

Legal Consequences of Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with the correct definition of wages under the ESI Act can lead to legal repercussions. Employees who don't include all the necessary parts when calculating their wages might have to pay penalties and fines. So, they must take a proactive approach by understanding and sticking to the wage calculation rules. This helps avoid legal issues and ensures compliance with the regulations.

Rate of Contribution Under ESI

The Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) is a social security system that ensures benefits for workers and their families. Employers and employees contribute a percentage of their wages to sustain this system. This collaborative funding model secures coverage for various social security benefits, fostering a safety net for employees in times of need. ESIC plays a crucial role in promoting the welfare of workers by offering financial support and medical assistance. The shared responsibility between employers and employees underscores the commitment to uphold the workforce's well-being, creating a robust foundation for comprehensive social security in employment.

The contribution rates are:

- ESI rate for employers: 3.25% of the wages paid or payable.

- ESI rate for employees: 0.75% of the wages paid or payable.


If an employee's daily average wage is up to Rs. 176, they don't need to contribute, but the employer still has to contribute their share.


Employers need to deduct the employee's contribution from their wages and pay both the employer's and employee's contributions within 15 days after the end of the month in which the contributions were made.


Certain branches of the State Bank of India and other authorized banks can receive contributions on behalf of ESIC.

ESI Rates formula and example

The calculation of ESI (Employees' State Insurance) contributions involves both employer and employee contributions. Here's the formula:


ESI Calculation Formula

Total ESI Contribution = Employer’s Contribution + Employees Contribution


Let's understand this through an example:


Let's explore the computation of ESI contributions using a specific scenario. Suppose Mr. Anuj is employed in an organization covered by the ESI Act, and his monthly salary is INR 15,000. The breakdown of contributions for the Employee State Insurance Scheme is outlined below:


Employer Contribution = INR 15,000 * 3.25% = INR 487.50

Employee Contribution = INR 15,000 * 0.75% = INR 112.50

Total ESI Contribution = 487.5 + 112.5 = INR 600

What are the Contribution Period and Benefit Period?

Contribution Period
Benefit Period
1st April 2020 - 30th September 2020
1st January to June 2021
1st October - 31st March 2021
1st July to 31st December

ESI in Case of Salary Increase

The dynamics of ESI calculation become more intricate when an employee's salary changes during a Contribution Period. In such cases, the increased salary is considered for ESI calculation from the beginning of the Contribution Period. This adjustment ensures that the employee's contributions accurately reflect their updated salary.


Employers play a crucial role in promptly adjusting contributions when there is a change in an employee's salary, demonstrating the importance of maintaining real-time payroll information.

ESI Return Filing

ESI return filing is imperative for employer compliance, detailing wages, contributions, and essential information for the ESI system's efficacy. Digitalization has streamlined this process, enabling employers to submit ESI returns effortlessly online via the ESIC portal. This technological shift enhanced efficiency, reduced paperwork, and ensured seamless integration within the ESI framework. Adhering to this mandatory filing promotes transparency and aligns with contemporary practices, making the entire procedure more accessible and convenient for employers.

Documents Required for ESI Registration

The ESI registration process involves submitting specific documents. These documents are essential for the smooth initiation of the registration process and include:

Registration certificate of the business or establishment:

This document verifies the entity's legal existence.

PAN card of the business:

The PAN card is a unique identifier for tax and legal purposes.

Address proof of the business:

Valid proof of the business's physical location is required for registration.

List of employees, along with their Aadhar cards and photographs:

This comprehensive list ensures that all eligible employees are covered.

Details of the bank account:

Providing bank details facilitates the smooth transfer of contributions to the ESI fund.

A smooth ESI registration process hinges on the essential step of organizing all required documents meticulously. Ensuring their accuracy and completeness is imperative to navigate through the registration seamlessly, facilitating a hassle-free experience for individuals and organizations involved.

Penalties for Non-payment of Employee Contribution

Consequences of Non-payment

Employees failing to make timely or delayed payments of employee contributions to the Employee State Insurance (ESI) fund face substantial penalties. These penalties serve as a deterrent, emphasizing the critical need for adherence to payment schedules.

Penalty Structure

The severity of penalties is contingent upon the duration of the delay and the accumulated arrears. Understanding the penalty structure is vital for employers, as it directly correlates with compliance and financial implications.

Timely Payment: A Legal and Relational Imperative

Recognizing the legal obligation, employers must prioritize the punctual and accurate remittance of ESI contributions. Timely payments not only satisfy legal requirements but also play a crucial role in nurturing a positive employer-employee relationship.

Legal Obligations and Beyond

Beyond the legal implications, employers should view timely ESI contributions as an integral part of their commitment to employee well-being. Fulfilling financial obligations reflects a responsible and caring approach, contributing to a harmonious workplace environment.

Encouraging Adherence

Understanding the penalties for non-payment underscores the importance of creating robust internal processes to ensure compliance. Employers are encouraged to establish efficient systems for timely tracking and remitting ESI contributions, mitigating the risk of penalties and fostering a culture of responsibility.

Penalties for non-payment of employee contributions to the ESI fund are critical to regulatory compliance. Employers navigating this landscape must prioritize timely payments to avoid financial repercussions and reinforce a positive and compliant organization.


Comprehending the nuances of ESI rates, calculations, and associated processes is paramount for employers and employees. Adherence to ESI regulations ensures legal compliance and guarantees timely access to healthcare and financial benefits for employees. Employers, in particular, must stay vigilant and informed about any changes in ESI rates or regulations to maintain a robust and legally compliant payroll system. The ESI scheme, with its dual contributions from employers and employees, remains a cornerstone of social security, fostering a culture of collective responsibility for the workforce's well-being. Looking for expert guidance? Reach out to TaxBuddy! Our professionals provide personalized advice tailored to your requirements so that you can make informed decisions and secure your future.

Frequently asked questions


What is the purpose of the Employee State Insurance Scheme (ESI)?


The ESI scheme aims to provide social security to employees and their families by offering financial protection during sickness, maternity, disablement, or death due to employment-related injuries. It ensures comprehensive medical care and cash benefits for covered individuals.


How is ESI calculated in case of a salary increase?


If an employee's salary increases during a Contribution Period, the increased salary is considered for ESI calculation from the beginning of the Contribution period. Employers must promptly adjust contributions to reflect the updated salary.


What are the Contribution Period and Benefit Period in ESI?


The Contribution Period is the timeframe for calculating ESI contributions, typically from April to September and October to March. The Benefit Period follows, during which employees become eligible for ESI benefits


What documents are required for ESI registration?


The documents required for ESI registration include the registration certificate of the business, PAN card of the business, address proof of the business, a list of employees with Aadhar cards and photographs, and details of the bank account.


Are employees still covered under the ESI scheme if their wages exceed Rs.21,000 monthly?


If the wage of an employee exceeds the wage limit of Rs.21,000 after April or October for the respective contribution periods, then the employee continues to be an employee till the end of that contribution period. Hence, the contribution must be deducted and paid on the total wages earned.


What are ESI PF rates?


ESI PF rates refer to the contribution rates for both Employee State Insurance (ESI) and Provident Fund (PF). The government sets these rates, which are a percentage of an employee's salary.


Where can I get the details of the current ESI rate of contribution?


You can view the current ESI rate of contribution on the ESC website. The government publishes the updated rate of contributions to be made by the employee and the employer on the website.


What are the ESI registration charges?


ESI registration is usually free, meaning employers don't have to pay fees to enroll their establishments and employees in the Employee State Insurance (ESI) scheme. However, it's essential to register within the specified timeframe to avoid penalties.


 Is there any fee for ESI withdrawal?


There is generally no specific fee for withdrawing from the ESI scheme. If employees want to withdraw, they can submit the necessary forms to their employer, who then processes the withdrawal request through the ESIC portal.


How are wages defied under the ESI Act?


Wages under the ESI Act include various components such as basic pay, dearness allowance, house rent allowance, incentives, bonuses, and similar allowances. Certain elements, such as overtime earnings, annual bonuses, contributions to provident funds, and gratuity, are excluded.


What is the ESI calculation formula?


The ESI calculation formula involves both the employer and employee contributing a percentage of the employee's gross salary. As of the last update in January 2022, the ESI contribution rate is 0.75%, and the employer's contribution rate is 3.25%.

Prachi Jain

Chartered Accountant

Prachi Jain is a Chartered Accountant with a passion for simplifying finance and tax-related matters through her insightful and informative blogs. With a background in finance and a deep understanding of tax regulations, Prachi has established herself as a trusted source of financial wisdom. Prachi is committed to empowering her readers with the knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions. Her expertise and dedication shine through in every blog post, helping her audience navigate the intricacies of finance and taxes with confidence. Follow Prachi Jain's blog for practical insights and guidance on managing your finances effectively.

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