The ESI Act 1948 enacted on 19th April 1948 provide for certain benefits to the employees in case of sickness, maternity and employment injury and to make provisions for certain other matters in relation thereto.

The ESI Act 1948 in the first instance, applies to:

  Factories in the manufacturing process and employing 10 or more persons
  Non-power using factories or establishments employing 20 or more persons for wages.

The provision of the Act are being implemented area wise by stages. The Act contains an enabling provision under which the Appropriate Government is empowered to extend the provision of the Act to other classes of establishments--

  Agricultural or otherwise

Under these provisions State Governments have extended the provisions of the ESI Act to the following classes of establishments.

  Hotels & Restaurants
  Cinemas, including preview theaters
  Road Motor Transport Undertakings
  Newspaper establishments

The ESI Act is applicable to over two lakh industrial units, across the length and breadth of the country.