Labour Law: The New Injury and Illness Cover Explained

Until now, domestic workers have been denied Compensation Fund cover for workplace injury and illness under COIDA (the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act). That has now changed, and both employers and domestic employees should understand the extensive cover offered to both employees and their dependents. Employers will now need to register, submit an annual Return of Earnings (ROE), and pay annual tariffs on assessment. Pay particular attention to the correct “Industry Classification” as your assessment payments will rocket if you inadvertently register in a “high-risk” category.

“Domestic employees” are now covered under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) and will now be entitled for compensation from the Compensation Fund in the event they are injured or contract diseases while on duty.

The new benefits
Note: The benefits set out below are recorded in summary only and awards are subject to conditions and to limits; it is important that you seek specific professional advice.

Compensation payable to a qualifying employee by the Fund

  1. Temporary Total Disablement (TTD): This is for an employee booked off for 4 days or more by a doctor to recuperate, maximum 24 months.
  2. Permanent disablement lump sum: A permanent disablement lump sum is paid to an employee who has received a final medical report from the treating doctor indicating that the employee has reached maximum medical improvement. The permanent disablement should be 1 – 30% disablement for the Compensation Fund to pay this benefit.
  3. Permanent disablement pension: The permanent disablement pension is paid to an employee who has received a final medical report from the treating doctor indicating that the employee has reached maximum medical improvement. The permanent disablement should be 31 – 100% disablement for the Compensation Fund to pay this benefit.

Compensation payable to dependents of employees who died as a result of injury on duty or occupational disease

There is cover for some funeral expenses, a widow’s lump sum award, a widow’s pension award, a child pension award, a partial or wholly dependency award payable to parents or siblings in the absence of a surviving spouse or child.

Orthotics and Rehabilitation

Qualifying applicants can claim for youth bursaries, a “Return to Work” program, “assistive devices” like wheelchairs and prosthetics, and rehabilitation and re-integration program.

Medical benefits

Medical benefits/claims and chronic medication are provided for in this section.

Employers – you must now register, submit annual returns, and pay annual tariffs

All employers of domestic employees are now obliged to register as employers with the Compensation Fund and to submit the necessary returns. You will be assessed and billed annually. To calculate how much your annual tariff payment will be, take the employee’s annual salary, divide it by 100 and multiply it by the current “assessment rate” applicable to domestic employees (1.04) – e.g. at a monthly salary of R4,500 the calculation is: R4,500 x 12 / 100 = R540 x 1.04 = R561-60 for the year.

Although there is reportedly no deadline for registration set at the moment, keep an eye on the media as this is bound to change.

For more detail, download the Department of Employment and Labour’s “Notice on The Registration of Domestic Worker Employers in Terms of Section 80 of The Compensation for Occupational Injuries And Disease Act As Amended” from GPW Online. See page 9 for the registration procedure and “Industry Classification” (get this right, high-risk industry employers pay a lot more!), page 10 for the ROE (Return of Earnings) and assessment procedures (plus how to register online) and page 11 for the claims submission process. The necessary forms are on pages 12 onwards.

Contact an attorney at De Klerk & Van Gend for all your employment-related queries.

This article is for general information purposes and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact us At DKVG Attorneys for specific and detailed advice.

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