Apart from the fear of not being able to be mobile and flexible again once one has been involved in an incident, most employees fear the thought of never being able to generate an income again. However, when an accident or an illness can be linked to the working conditions, employees have the right to claim compensation from the Compensation Fund.

Almost every South African employer is compelled to pay a monthly contribution to the Compensation Fund. An employee, or their next of kin, can claim from this fund when:

– They were injured or contracted a disease while working, training or completing an apprenticeship,

– They lost a family member who died on the job

This applies to both permanent and casual employees and includes those who are an apprentice or trainee as well as workers paid by a labour agency. However, outsourced employees or employees who have been working for more than 12 months abroad at a time, when the injury happened or disease was contracted, the Worksmans Compensation will not pay out.

In their drive to satisfy their customers, many employers forget these consequences. They also underestimate the paperwork that needs to be submitted when an employee gets injured or falls ill. The problem is that claims will only be paid if they are submitted in the correct way and on time.

As a general rule of thumb, claims will not be paid if:

– 12 months have passed since the accident or death, or after the disease is diagnosed

– The employee is off work for three days or less

– The employee refused to have medical treatment

– The accident can be attributed to the employee's wrongdoing

In case of the latter, only when the employee is seriously disabled or dies in the accident, the fund is likely to still pay compensation. The Compensation Fund covers occupational diseases and workplace injuries. Schedule 3 of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (130/1993) describes the working conditions and diseases caused by these conditions that are covered by the Compensation Fund.

To be able to claim for other diseases one has to prove, by means of medical evidence and reports, that the disease was caused by the conditions at work. This is where most employers often get stuck. Compiling the documentation and submitting it in time is a process that takes time and dedication. It's a process that requires patience and empathy as it often involved professionals who are swamped with responsibilities, as well as the employee(s) involved. Getting them all to submit their information simply takes more that filling out a tick-sheet. However, failure to submit the correct information, or on time, can have dire consequences to the employee(s) involved.

In most cases, the victim becomes a victim for reasons beyond his or her control. They are often caught by as much surprise as those around them. Inconveniencing them by having their income affected is cruel, but also unnecessary. Each employee has the right to have his or her salary paid as usual pending a decision is made about the future. Get yourself an experienced and dedicated partner who can look after those processes and take away the stress that comes with handling the aftermath of an accident or incident.


Talk to your MAKROSAFE consultant to hear how much experience they have gained and the improvements they have made by handling such cases for other clients for many years.

Posted date: 8th Mar 2016
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