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Domestic workers have not been able to claim for injuries at work, but new changes being introduced to the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill may change this. Scorpion Legal Protection takes a look at what this means for domestic workers who get injured on duty.
What is COIDA?
The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) is there to protect employees in the case of workplace injuries – it means workers who have been injured or who have contracted a disease at work can claim compensation. How it works is that companies pay a premium for their workers according to what industry they are in.
The Act gives workers who have been injured or contracted a disease in their workplace certain rights, for example, full free medical care (including transport to a hospital), compensation for loss of income, and compensation to their family in the case of death or disability.
What has changed
Previously, COIDA did not see domestic workers as “employees”, they were specifically excluded from cover under this law. Now, domestic workers are seen as employees under this law and can claim compensation from COIDA.
The changes came from a number of court cases involving domestic workers who were injured at work. In one case, domestic worker Maria Mahlangu drowned in her employers’ pool. In another case, domestic worker Agnes Mngadi was attacked by her employer’s dogs and died three days later, and yet another case involved intruders breaking into the employer’s home and raping and killing domestic worker Christina Moyo. The court rulings in all these cases helped bring about the change to include domestic workers under COIDA.
Applying for workplace injuries
The employee must report the injury to the employer. The employer then needs to fill out the official COIDA form W.Cl 2 and submit it within 7 days to the Compensation Commissioner. The injured employee needs to take 'Part B’ of the form with to the doctor or it must be given to the emergency services when they come to fetch the injured employee.
The employee must, at a later date and time confirmed by the Commissioner, go for a medical examination to confirm the injury at a specific medical professional. The doctor must complete the W.Cl 4 form, stating how serious the injury is and how long the employee is likely to be off work. This is sent to the employer who sends it to the Commissioner.
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* This is only basic advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing
Date added: 13 October 2020
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