Domestic workers injured on duty urged to claim benefits

The South African reports that the Department of Employment and Labour has called on domestic workers injured or contracted occupational diseases while on duty from 27 April 1994 to come forward and claim their benefits. This follows the corrective legislative measures to amend the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, No 130 of 1993 (COIDA) legislation to include domestic employees. This was revealed by Department of Employment and Labour Deputy Director of employer registrations and compliance Jan Madiega when he addressed the Compensation Fund Roundtable Stakeholder Engagement session held at Bolivia Lodge in Polokwane, Limpopo, on Thursday, 10 August.

According to the department, corrective legislative measures were undertaken due to the 2020 Constitutional Court order, which declared section 1(xix) (v) of the COIDA invalid, with immediate and retrospective effect to 27 April 1994. Madiega said they are encouraging all their stakeholders to inform their family and friends who might have been injured or contracted occupational diseases from 27 April 1994 to come forth and claim their benefits. “We are encouraging employers not to prejudge a claim but rather submit it to the [Compensation] Fund so that we can make our discretion,” he said. 

Madiega said a right to claim in terms of the Act should lapse if the accident that happened or the disease that commenced on or after 27 April 1994 is not brought to the attention of the Commissioner or of the employer or mutual association concerned, as the case may be within 36 months from the date of signature on the amendment Act 10 of 2022.

All employers of private domestic employees must register with the Compensation Fund, submit the Return of Earnings (ROE’s), and make payments.

Those who had employees before 19 November 2020 will be required to indicate as such. However, the Fund will regard their commencement date as 19/11/2020 unless claim liability is accepted for years prior.

“If the person gets injured, and it is found that you are employing an illegal foreign national, you will be prosecuted for harbouring an illegal immigrant in our household. However, whether the domestic employee is a foreign national is immaterial. As an employer, you must register your domestic employees. Upon receiving a claim, the Fund will request relevant documents,” Madiega said.

by Nokwanda Ncwane

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