WORKMAN’S COMPENSATION ACT (LAWS OF KENYA)
It has been in force in Kenya since 1949. Objectives of Workman’s compensation Act:
- to provide for compensation for loss of caring capacity suffered by workmen injured or who meet death in accident arising out of an in he course of employment.
- Provides for payment by the employer of medical expenses of the employee.
- Any employee who contracts or dies as a result of contracting any of certain occupational diseases is also entitled to compensation.
Workman refers to any person who has entered into or works under a contract of service, apprenticeship or learnership with employer.
Accident – unexpected event which is not designed or desired by the injured workman.
Entitlement to compensation:
- a) He must have been doing what he’s employed to do.
- b) The accident must have taken place when the person was in actual discharge of his duties not before start of or after cessation of employment
- c) The injury caused permanent disability or death to the workman or temporarily disable him for at least three consecutive days form earning full wages from the work at which he was employed.
- d) Negligence on the part of the employee doesn’t disentitle him to compensation but serious and willful misconduct may, depending on the nature of the injury to preclude payment.
- e) The onus of proof of serious and willful misconduct rests with the employer.
Action to be taken after an accident:
- Immediately an accident occurs the law requires that a report if the accident is made to the labour officer of the area or to the District Commissioner (where there’s no labour officer)
- Any workmen who suspects that the employer hasn’t made such a report should immediately report the matter directly to the appropriate authority.
Compensation takes the form of monetary payment for which the employer is liable and is paid in respect of one or more of the following heads:
- Temporary incapacity
- Permanent incapacity
- Injury to health
– Assessed by the Labour Officer to whom the accident was reported.
– The amount is normally the periodical payment of not less than half of the workmen’s basic wage at the time of the accident covering the period of temporary disablement as certified by the doctor treating the injured workmen subject to a maximum of 96 months
– These periodical payments cease to be payable as soon as final award of permanent disability (if any) has been made.
Compensation for permanent incapacity Compensation for permanent incapacity falls under two headings:
- Partial incapacity and total incapacity
- The workman must have suffered partial loss of his earnings capacity as a result of the loss of a part of the use of a part of the body thus decreasing his ability to earn full wages.
- Permanent partial incapacity is expressed by the doctor treating the workman in percentage and may at least range from 1% to 99%
- Compensation in respect of permanent partial incapacity is assessed as percentage of 60 months earnings being percentage specified by the medical practitioner as the disability suffered by the workman subject to a minimum of Kshs 35,000 and a maximum of Kshs 240,000.
Compensation for Permanent total incapacity
- In fatal cases, a lump sum of 60 months earnings subject to a maximum of Kshs 240,000 payable where the deceased leaves a person o persons wholly, or partially dependent upon his earnings at the time of his death.
- The amount payable is distributed, between the surviving dependants in accordance with the respective degree to which they were dependent upon the deceased
- A widow who remarries before payment of compensation is still entitled to her share
- Where the dead man leaves behind no dependants reasonable expenses of the burial of the deceased workman subject to a maximum of Kshs 500 is payable by the employer.
Compensation for injury or health
If a workmen is certified by a doctor to be suffering from a scheduled occupational disease occasioning his disablement or death and if such disease is proved to have been caused by the nature of the workman having contracted the disease within 24 months previous to the date of which disablement or death. Compensation shall be payable in the same manner as if the disablement or death were caused by an accident.
Medical Aid – Employer is liable to pay reasonable expenses incurred by a workman as a result of an accident which would entitle the workman to compensation. These include:-
- Expenses in respect of medical surgical and hospital treatment, nursing services and supply of medicines subject to a maximum of Kshs6,000/=
- Expenses in respect of transportation of the injured workman to and from the place where treatment is available subject to a maximum of Kshs1,000/=
NB: Workman compensation cannot be assigned or attached and no claim shall be made upon such payment.