The ABRY scheme had been brought on by the need to provide a livelihood to the employees who may have lost their livelihood during the pandemic of Covid-19. In such a situation, the scheme provides benefits to both employers and employees whose establishment is registered under the EPFO.
What is the ABRY Scheme?
The Central Government introduced the ABRY Scheme or the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana as a part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 to incentivise the formulation of higher opportunities of employment during the recovery phase of Covid-19. This provides help to the establishment employers who are registered under the EPFO to hire unemployed people, including the re-employment of the people who were unemployed because of the pandemic.
The ABRY scheme is registered with EPFO and aims to incentivise employers to employ many people and re-employ those who came from the bracket of low wages and may have lost their livelihood during the pandemic.
Validity of the ABRY Scheme
The ABRY scheme began on the first of October 2020 and was open for registering new employees and employers up to June 2021. However, the validity of the registration period has been extended by the Central Government by nine months till the end of March 2022. Under the ABRY scheme, the benefits will be available for the next 24 months from the registration date of the new employee.
Incentives under the scheme
In respect of the eligible new employees, through the ABRY scheme, the Central Government provides subsidies for 24 months or two years at a certain scale, such as the following:
- The incentive comes in the form of payment for both the employer and the employee’s contribution, which is 24% of the wages of the establishment’s new employees, which employs the EPF contribution of the employees, which is 12% of wages of the establishments which employs over 1000 employees.
- Incentives for the new employees of employers who come under the registered establishments of EPFO with monthly wages of less than Rs. 15,000.
- The Central Government pays the incentive through UANs upfront credit to the new employees.
- Employers with less than 1,000 employees will get a subsidy of the employer’s share even if, during the scheme period, the EPF member contribution with UAN exceeds 1,000.
Beneficiaries under the ABRY scheme
For the beneficiaries, the term new employee means any employee who gets a wage of below Rs. 15,000 each month. Any employee with no Universal Account Number (UAN) was not working with an establishment registered under the EPFO before October 2020. But also, an employee who joined the employment of a registered establishment after 1st October 2020 and within 31st March 2022 has also been given the UAN validated by their Aadhar.
Under the ABRY scheme, the beneficiary also means any member of the EPF who has their UAN and who made an exit from employment during the Covid-19 pandemic from any establishment and also joined a registered establishment between 1st October 2022 to 31st March 2022.
How to avail benefits under the ABRY scheme?
Under the ABRY scheme, the EPFO has placed an electronic facility on the employer portal, where the employer must update Form 5A through a link. They will have to disclose the employees’ reference base on the EPFO Unified Portal. Under ABRY, before registering any new employee, employers will have to get and verify the declaration concerning the last membership from employees who want to join the establishment.
To get a monthly benefit, the employer files the ECR and declaration for every employee. And this filing has to be made within 60 days of the wage month. But the employer will be responsible for any late submission of the ECR. To claim the increased benefit at a future date, any modification or correction is not allowed in the ECR.
To get the full benefit of the ABRY scheme, it is also necessary to ensure that you are eligible for it, be it as an employee or as an establishment. Moreover, in any need, you can also fill in the epf name correction form depending on your need to make any name modifications.