Employee State Insurance (ESI) Return Filing

Employers must complete and submit Employee State Insurance (ESI) returns to the Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) quarterly.

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Employee State Insurance (ESI) Return Filing

ESI return filing is a mandatory process for registered employers under the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) scheme, aimed at contributing to employee welfare. It involves declaring the monthly contributions made towards ESI for all covered employees, which helps in ensuring their eligibility for various benefits under the scheme. The process requires accurate payroll data and adherence to filing deadlines to avoid penalties. Through ESI return filing, the government monitors compliance and ensures that workers have access to medical care, disability benefits, and other social security provisions. This system promotes a healthy workforce by providing financial protection during health-related absences from work.

Who needs to file EPF Return?

The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) is a vital social security scheme in India, aimed at fostering savings for employees across various sectors for their retirement. Here’s a brief guide on the entities required to comply with EPF return filings:



Any organization employing 20 or more individuals. Smaller organizations can voluntarily join but must comply once they are part of the EPF scheme.

Includes all employees earning up to ₹21,000 per month as a basic salary plus dearness allowances. Higher-earning employees can also opt-in but it’s not mandatory.

Understanding ESI Contributions with Example

Understanding ESI (Employees’ State Insurance) contributions in India involves knowing the percentage of salaries that employers and employees must contribute to the ESI fund. This fund provides employees with medical, monetary, and other benefits. Below is a table summarizing the contribution rates and an example to illustrate how these contributions are calculated.

Contributor Contribution Rate Responsibility


Contributes towards the ESI scheme for employee welfare


Contributes a smaller portion towards their own ESI benefits
Combined contribution to the ESI scheme

Example of ESI Contribution Calculation

Let’s assume an employee’s monthly gross salary is ₹20,000.

Salary Cap
Applicability: The ESI scheme applies to employees earning up to ₹21,000 per month.

Employee’s Contribution: 0.75% of ₹20,000 = ₹150
Employer’s Contribution: 3.25% of ₹20,000 = ₹650

Total ESI Contribution: Employee’s + Employer’s Contribution = ₹150 + ₹650 = ₹800

In this example, the total monthly ESI contribution for this employee would be ₹800, out of which the employee contributes ₹150, and the employer contributes ₹650.

Why is ESI Return Filing Important?

ESI return filing is a crucial compliance requirement for employers. Here’s why it’s so important

Legal Compliance
Employee Welfare
Trust & Transparency
Audit Readiness
Avoidance of Late Fees
Record Maintenance
Legal Compliance

ESI Return filing is mandatory for eligible entities, avoiding penalties and legal complications

Employee Welfare

It provides financial benefits to employees in cases of sickness, maternity, medical, disability and employment injury

Trust & Transparency

Regular filing demonstrates an organization's commitment to legal standards, building trust with employees and authorities

Audit Readiness

Regular ESI filings prepare businesses for audits, showcasing compliance with employee welfare regulations

Avoidance of Late Fees

Timely filing prevents the imposition of late fees, reducing unnecessary financial burdens on the employer

Record Maintenance

It helps in maintaining accurate records of employee contributions and benefits, aiding in audits and inspections

Procedure to File ESI Returns for Employers in India

Filing Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) returns is a mandatory process for employers in India, ensuring social security and medical benefits to their employees. Here’s a detailed guide on how to complete this process:

Employer Registration: Employers must register themselves and their establishment under the ESI Act by submitting Form 01 to the ESIC (Employees’ State Insurance Corporation).

Employee Registration: Register all eligible employees (earning ₹21,000 or less per month) under the ESI scheme and obtain their insurance numbers.

Contribution Details: Calculate and deposit both the employer’s and employees’ contributions to the ESIC every month. The contributions are a percentage of the employees’ wages.

Payment Procedure: Use the ESIC portal to make monthly contributions through net banking, debit/credit cards.

Filing DCR: File the Digital Challan Cum Return (DCR) alongside the monthly contribution, detailing wages and contributions for each employee.

File Half-Yearly Returns: Detail the contributions made during the period, including all relevant employee information like changes in salary, resignations, and new hires.

Documents Required: Submit Form 5 (Return of Contributions) and copies of paid challans along with the return.

Access ESIC Portal: Log in to the ESIC portal using the employer’s ESIC registration number and password.

Select Return Filing Option: Go to the ‘Online Monthly Contribution’ section and select the option for filing returns.

Upload Contribution Details: Upload the detailed contribution records for the specified period.

Verify and Submit: Ensure the accuracy of the uploaded details, correct any discrepancies, and submit the return.

Acknowledgment Receipt: Download and print the acknowledgment receipt after successful submission for record-keeping.

Maintain Records: Keep copies of the filed returns and acknowledgment receipts for future reference or compliance verification by ESIC.

ESI Return Filing Deadlines

The ESI return filing deadlines in India are structured to ensure timely compliance and contributions to the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) scheme. Here is a brief overview:

Monthly Contribution

Employers are required to deposit the ESI contributions (both employer’s and employees’ share) by the 15th day of the following month. For example, for contributions of the month of January, the deadline would be February 15th.

Half-Yearly Return Filing

ESI returns must be filed twice a year. The deadlines for these filings are as follows:
• For the period 1st April to 30th September, the deadline is 11th November.
• For the period 1st October to 31st March, the deadline is 11th May of the following year.

Consequences of Non-Payment or Late Payment

Non-compliance with the timely payment of employees’ contributions towards the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) can lead to several adverse outcomes for an organization. Here are three critical consequences that organizations may face:

Interest and Penalties

Organizations failing to pay the ESIC contributions on time are liable to pay interest and penalties. The interest rate for late payment is 12% per annum, and the penalties can vary based on the duration of the delay, significantly increasing the financial burden on the employer.

Legal Action and Prosecution

Continuous non-compliance, including non-payment or late payment of ESIC contributions, can lead to legal action against the employer. This may include prosecution, which can result in fines and imprisonment for the responsible parties, damaging the organization’s reputation and credibility.

Denial of Benefits to Employees

Delay in payment or non-payment can lead to employees being unable to avail the benefits offered under the ESIC scheme. This can lead to dissatisfaction and demoralization among employees, affecting their productivity and loyalty to the organization.

What are the different forms required for epf return filing

The table below lists the different forms required for ESI return filing in India, along with their purposes:

Form Number Purpose of the Form
Form 3A
Record of employee's contributions towards PF throughout the year.
Form 5
Declaration of employees newly enrolled in the PF scheme during the month.
Form 10
Details of employees leaving the organization during the month.
Form 2
Nomination and declaration form for new joiners specifying nominees for PF and insurance.
Form 12A
Monthly report of contributions (both employee and employer) and administrative charges.
ECR (Electronic Challan-Cum-Return)
An electronic monthly return to be filed by employers. Details employee-wise contributions and allows for online payment.

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Frequently asked questions

What is ESI return filing, and who needs to file it?

ESI return filing involves submitting reports and documents to the Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) regarding your employees' ESI contributions. All employers who have ESI-covered employees are required to file ESI returns.

When should I file ESI returns?

ESI returns should be filed on a monthly basis. They must be submitted by the 42nd day after the end of the contribution period, which is typically a month.

What documents are needed for ESI return filing?

You'll need essential documents such as the attendance register, register for Form 6 (for new employee registrations), register of wages, register of accidents on the premises, inspection book, and monthly challans and returns submitted for ESI.

How can I file ESI returns?

ESI returns can be filed online through the ESIC portal or through authorized Common Service Centers. You can also take the help of a chartered accountant or a professional consultant to ensure accurate filing.

What are the consequences of not filing ESI returns on time?

Failing to file ESI returns on time can result in penalties and interest charges. It may also affect your employees' access to ESI benefits, which can lead to legal issues.

What is the due date for ESI return filing?

ESI returns for a particular month are due by the 42nd day after the end of that month. For example, if you're filing returns for the month of January, they should be submitted by the 12th of March.

Can I file ESI returns for multiple months together?

No, ESI returns must be filed on a monthly basis. It's essential to file them for each month separately, and the due date for each month should be followed.

Is it possible to correct errors in ESI returns after filing them?

Yes, you can make corrections to ESI returns by submitting revised returns for the respective month. It's important to rectify any errors promptly to maintain accurate records and avoid potential issues in the future.