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EPFO’s Employer Rating Survey

  • 02 Feb 2024
  • 10 min read

For Prelims: EPFO’s Employer Rating Survey, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), Women in the Workforce for Viksit Bharat, Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH), Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), Gender Disparity.

For Mains: EPFO’s Employer Rating Survey, Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

Source: IE

Why in News?

Recently, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) have jointly launched the Employer Rating Survey to assess and encourage employers' support for increasing women's participation in the workforce.

What is an Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation?

  • It is a government organization that manages provident fund and pension accounts for the workforce engaged in the organised sector in India.
  • It implements the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
    • The Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 provides for the institution of provident funds for employees in factories and other establishments.
  • It is administered by the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India.
  • It is one of the World's largest Social Security Organisations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken.

What are the Key Aspects of the Employer Rating Survey?

  • About:
    • The employer rating survey was launched at an event “Women in the Workforce for Viksit Bharat” by the EPFO (Ministry of Labour and Employment) and the MoWCD.
    • The survey's data and feedback from female employees aim to offer valuable insights for informed policymaking on women's workforce participation.
    • The primary objective of the survey is to evaluate and rate employers based on their commitment and support for women's participation in the workforce. This involves assessing the measures and facilities provided by employers to create an environment conducive to women's employment.
  • Rating Employers:
    • The survey involves rating employers based on their support for women's participation in the workforce. It serves as a tool to gauge the progress and efforts of employers in creating an inclusive work environment.
  • Questionnaire:
    • The survey has a detailed questionnaire seeking organisation details, including whether the company provides an Internal Complaints Committee for addressing Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) formalities, crèche facilities for children, and transportation facilities during late hours.
      • The EPFO has distributed the questionnaire to its approximately 300 million customers nationwide, making it a comprehensive effort to gather data on a large scale.
  • Equal Pay for Equal Work:
    • The survey has also sought answers on whether there is ‘equal pay for equal work’ for male and female workers along with a query on the availability of flexible or remote working hours for women.


As per the EPFO’s Annual Report for 2022-23, there are 29.88 crore members across 21.23 lakh establishments under the ambit of the retirement fund body.

What is the State of Women’s Labour Force Participation in India?

  • Women’s Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) has improved over the last few years but much of this increase has been seen in the unpaid work category.
    • LFPR is the percentage of the working-age population (aged 15 years and above) that is either employed or unemployed, but willing and looking for employment.
  • As per the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), the female participation rate rose to 27.8% in 2022-23 from 17.5% in 2017-18, but a major chunk of this is of the women reported as “helpers in household enterprises”, who do not receive any regular salary for their work.
    • LFPR for male in India increased from 75.8% in 2017-18 to 78.5% in 2022-23 and corresponding increase in LFPR for females was from 23.3% to 37.0%.

What are the Causes of Lower Women’s Participation in the Labour Force?

  • Patriarchal Social Norms:
    • Deep-rooted patriarchal norms and traditional gender roles often limit women's access to education and employment opportunities.
    • Societal expectations may prioritise women's roles as caregivers and homemakers, discouraging their active participation in the labour force.
  • Gender Wage Gap:
    • Women in India often face wage disparities compared to men for similar work.
    • This wage gap can discourage women from seeking formal employment opportunities.
  • Unpaid Care Work:
    • The burden of unpaid care and domestic work falls disproportionately on women, limiting their time and energy for paid employment.
      • Married women in India spend over 7 hours per day on unpaid care and domestic work, while men spend less than 3 hours.
      • This trend is consistent across income levels and caste groups, leading to a significant Gender Disparity in domestic responsibilities.
    • This unequal distribution of household responsibilities can be a significant barrier to women's participation in the labor force.
  • Social and Cultural Stigma:
    • In some communities, there may be stigma or resistance associated with women working outside the home, leading to lower labour force participation rates.

How can Higher Women Labor Participation Impact the Society at Large?

  • Economic Growth:
    • Women's participation in the labour force is directly linked to economic growth. When a significant portion of the female population remains underutilised, it results in a loss of potential productivity and economic output.
    • Increased women's labour force participation can contribute to higher GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and overall economic prosperity.
  • Poverty Reduction:
    • When women have access to income-generating opportunities, it can lift households out of poverty, leading to better living standards and improved well-being for families.
  • Human Capital Development:
    • Educated and economically active women can positively influence the education and health outcomes of their children, leading to intergenerational benefits.
  • Gender Equality and Empowerment:
    • Higher women's participation in the labour force can challenge traditional gender roles and norms, promoting gender equality.
    • Economic empowerment enables women to have greater control over their lives, decision-making power, and autonomy.
      • Economic empowerment can enhance women's bargaining power and reduce their vulnerability to gender-based violence and abusive relationships.
  • Fertility and Population Growth:
    • Studies have shown that as women's labour force participation increases, fertility rates tend to decline.
    • This phenomenon, known as the "fertility transition," is associated with improved access to education, healthcare, and family planning, leading to more sustainable population growth.
  • Labor Market and Talent Pool:
    • Increasing women's participation in the labour force can help address skill shortages and labour market imbalances, leading to a more efficient allocation of talent and resources.

What are the Initiatives Taken to Safeguard the Employment of Women?

Way Forward

  • Gender equality discussions should move beyond compartmentalising women's lives into work and life and recognize the comprehensive valuation of all kinds of work, both formal and informal, that women do.
  • Policy solutions must be derived from women's negotiations within their cultural context, focusing on increasing autonomy and flexible work options.
  • Promoting and supporting higher women's labour force participation is not only a matter of gender equality but also a crucial driver of societal progress and development.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. Which of the following gives ‘Global Gender Gap Index’ ranking to the countries of the world? (2017)

(a) World Economic Forum
(b) UN Human Rights Council
(c) UN Women
(d) World Health Organization

Ans: (a)


Q. ‘’Empowering women is the key to control the population growth.’’ Discuss. (2019)

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