COID Act – SA Compensation explained in a quick guide to the Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COID Act). The Act provides compulsory compensation for death or personal injury at work.
The COID Act replaced the Workmen’s Compensation Act in 1994. It was designed to offer protection for all employees under a contract of employment, and provides for the payment of benefits to the employee or his dependents if he is injured or dies in the course of performing his duties.
Section 22(1) of the COID Act states that “If an employee meets with an accident resulting in his disablement or death such employee or the dependents of such employee shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be entitled to the benefits provided for and prescribed in this Act.”
COID Act – Who can claim?
Casual and full-time workers who as a result of a workplace accident or work-related disease are injured, disabled, killed or became ill, will be able to claim.This includes a worker paid by a labour agency, in the case of a deceased employee, his dependents, and in the case of an employee under disability, a curator acting on behalf of that employee.
Most employees are covered by the Act, regardless of their earnings; however employees who earn more than the threshold, which is currently R214 305 per year, will be assessed as though they earn the threshold amount.
COID Act – Who cannot claim?
There are certain categories of employees who cannot claim from the Fund, for example:
- Anyone performing military service or undergoing military training, who is not a member of the Permanent Force of the South African Defense Force,
- a Member of the Permanent Force of the South African Defense Force,
- a Member of the South African Police Force,
- a Person who contracts for the carrying out of work and himself engages other persons to perform such work,
- a Domestic worker employed as such in a private household
COID Act – When will a claim not be paid?
Claims will only be paid if they are submitted in the correct way and within the prescribed time limits. Claims will not be paid if:
- The claim is instituted more than 12 months after the accident or death of the employee.
- The claim is instituted more than 12 months after the occupational disease is diagnosed.
- The employee is off work for 3 days or less.
- The accident is because of the serious and willful misconduct of the employee, however, compensation will be paid if the accident results in the serious disablement of the employee or if the employee dies as a result of the accident and leaves a dependent who is wholly financially dependent upon him.
- The employee unreasonably refuses to have medical treatment
COID Act – What can be claimed?
There are five main types of compensation:
- Temporary Disability
- Temporary disability can be total or partial.
- Total temporary disability is when you cannot work at all, however you will get better.
Partial temporary disability is when you are able to do some of your work, or light duties. However an employee must keep in mind that he will only be able to claim if he was off work for more than 3 days.
- Permanent Disability – Permanent disability is an injury or illness that an employee will never recover from.
- Death – When an employee died as a result of an occupational injury or disease.
- Medical Expenses – All medical expenses of an employee will be paid for up to two years from the date of accident or diagnosis of the disease.
- Additional Compensation
In addition to the general compensation you can get extra compensation if the injury or disease was caused by the employer’s negligence or a fault with a machine. Any employee who is under 26 years will also receive extra compensation.
Compensation is worked out as a percentage of the wage the employee was earning at the time the injury occurred or at the time the disease was diagnosed.
The Compensation Fund does not pay for pain and suffering.
Obligations of employers
Sections 80-89 of the COID Act deal with the obligations of employers.
- All employers must register with the Commissioner and must furnish the Commissioner with particulars of his business.
- Employers must keep a register of the earnings and other prescribed particulars of all their employees.
- Employers must pay an assessment to the commissioner in such installments and at such times and on such conditions as the commissioner may determine.
Consequences of failure to pay Assessments
In terms of the COID Act, if an employer fails to pay an assessment, the Director-General may impose a fine at the prescribed percentage on the outstanding amount upon him.
An Employer who refuses or fails to pay any assessment, installment, or fine, will be guilty of an offense.