The occupational health and safety act was put in place to protect workers from being injured at work, however sometimes these systems that have been implemented in the workplace fail and as a result injury on duty or health related illnesses occur. The compensation for occupational injuries and diseases act (COIDA) was put in place by the Department of Labour to assist employers and employees to deal with the unexpected costs associated with workplace incidents and diseases.
COID is essentially an insurance policy that employers subscribe to and pay a premium based on their respective industry classification that they fall under. There are specific rates applicable based on the risk associated with the various industries and a return of earning process need to be completed annually based on the employers total salaries and wages bill.
All employers are obliged to register with a carrier which is either the Compensation Commissioner of the Compensation Fund or a designated mutual association. Employers are then required to provide their respective carrier with the particulars of their businesses. The onus is on the employer to ensure that these details remain up to date. Failure to register for and pay return of earning to the compensation fund or mutual association constitutes an offence and penalties may be applicable.
An employer has to maintain records of the earnings of employees for a period of at least four years. A health and safety representative elected in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993) has the right to inspect and if necessary notify the Commissioner of any documentation that the employer should retain in terms of COIDA.
According to the Act, workers who suffer a work related disease or injury have the following rights;
The right to full and free medical attention, including free transport to a medical centre for treatment.
Compensation for loss of income due to workplace injury or diseases (or temporary disablement).
Compensation for permanent loss of normal bodily functions following a injury on duty or a disease contracted due to exposure to hazardous chemical substances or biological agents.
Benefits can also be payable to family members where the employee was deceased due to injury on duty or disease contracted at work.
Increased compensation should the cause of the injury on duty be due to the negligence of the employer or a fellow employee.
Compensation can also be payable if the injury on duty or disease was caused by a third party, but arose during the normal working hours of an employee.
There are important dates to remember and like all HR and payroll related legislation, processes, checks and balances can be tricky to manage and sometimes you may need assistance with the successful assessment and submission of your ROE.
The RMA (Rand Mutual Assurance) COID ROE (return of earning) filing season deadline is 31 March 2019 and the COIDA ROE (return of earning) filing season is also 31 March of each year; however, in practice, this is generally extended to 31 May.
Our LabourNet Occupational Health and Safety or Payroll – Human Capital Management division can assist you to better understand the legislation and the impact on your business, to advise you on the best practice process to comply, to submit your ROE to the Department of Labour or the RMA, as well as increase compliance with legislation and reduce the risk of non-compliance.
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