Cover your claim
Although employers strive to keep their workers as safe as possible while they’re on the job, accidents happen. And when they do, it’s important that employers are registered with the Workmen’s Compensation Fund, so that they can immediately report the accident and put in a claim. CLAIRE RENCKEN takes a look at what employers need to do to cover themselves.
All employers who employ one or more workers in connection with their business are required to register with the Compensation Fund. A separate registration is necessary for each separate branch of a business, unless an arrangement for combined registration has been made.
The employer is expected to complete the relevant forms, (which can be obtained on the Department of Labour’s website) and submit them to the Compensation Commissioner.
Fortunately there are companies that can assist employers with this. One such organisation is the Johannesburg-based Federated Employers’ Mutual Assurance Company Limited (FEM). FEM was established as a mutual insurer in 1936 and, on the introduction of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, in 1941, was granted a license to transact workmen’s compensation insurance for the building and construction industry.
FEM has been providing workmen’s compensation to the industry for over 75 years. Its national footprint assists in servicing in excess of 3 000 policy holders. In line with the Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1993, the events it covers include:
• Accidents, that arise out of and in the course of a person’s employment, resulting in a personal injury, illness or death;
• occupational diseases contracted in the workplace due to exposure of the employee to certain agents or conditions found in the work environment; and
• fatal cases where an employee dies because of an accident that happens on duty.
1. Letters of good standing. FEM can provide such a document upon request, valid for up to 12 months, subject to terms and conditions.
2. Merit rebates – up to a maximum of 50 percent of assessments paid – are paid out annually to employers with favourable claims experience, subject to terms and conditions.
3. Standard assessment rates – these are set by the Compensation Commissioner, and are applied by FEM without any additional fees or costs.
4. Administration – FEM will assist the employer by obtaining the required medical reports, accounts and other relevant reports on behalf of the employer in the event of an accident.
5. Training – full claims training is available on request.
6. Technology – FEM’s interactive website allows employers to access and track their claims as well as view health and safety stats at any given time.
It is important to remember that, although workmen’s compensation laws basically protect people who are injured on the job, they also protect employers and fellow workers. They limit the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer, and eliminate the liability of co-workers in most accidents.