The SIC Insurance Company PLC has revealed that under the employer’s liability for compensation, employees who sustains personal injury by accident arising out of, and in the course of employment, the employer is liable, to pay compensation.
“An injured employee shall not suffer a diminution in earnings while the employee undergoes treatment for injuries sustained through an accident arising out of, and in the course employment.
“Where an attending medical officer assesses an incapacity in respect of an injured employee, the employer shall pay the injured employee compensation commensurate with the incapacity so assessed,” Mr Irwin Cofie, Deputy Head of Marketing SIC has stated.
Mr Cofie who was speaking at the Ghana News Agency Tema Industrial News Hub Board Room Dialogue noted that employees were protected under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, but sometimes out of ignorance some employers take advantage of their staff.
He therefore urged employees to seek for remedies available to them in case of any accident or mishap; “workers should not wait until they are involved in any accident before they begin to engage employers on compensation”.
Mr Cofie noted that where the injury results in death or serious and permanent Incapacity of the employee, the Court on consideration of the circumstances, may award the appropriate compensation.
He said: “The employer is not liable to pay compensation in respect of an injury to an employee resulting from an accident which is attributable to the employee having been under the influence of drink or drugs at the time of the accident”.
He noted that under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, there were certain accident which the employer may not be liable and these includes “act in contravention of a statutory or any other regulation applicable to the employment, or was acting without instructions from the employer.
“If the act was done by the employee for the purposes of and in connection with the employer’s trade or business”.
Mr Cofie advised employees that, the employers were not liable to pay compensation in respect of incapacity or a death resulting from a deliberate self-injury, “if the employee has at any time represented to the employer that the employee was not suffering or had not previously suffered from that or similar injury, knowing that the representation was false”.
He said in instances of fatal cases; where death results from the injury, “if the employee leaves dependants, the amount of compensation shall be a sum of money equal to sixty month’s earnings.
“But where in respect of the same accident compensation has been paid, there shall be deducted from the sum payable; whether the employee had dependants or not, the employer shall pay the medical expenses”.
The SIC Deputy Head of Marketing noted that “if the employee did not leave dependants, the employer shall bear the expenses of the burial as required by custom.
“If the employee left dependants, the employer shall bear the expenses of the burial or as stipulated in the relevant Collective Agreement, whichever is the higher”.
Mr Cofie noted that where an employee survives an injury, whether the employee has dependants or not, the employer shall pay the medical expenses in respect of the injury.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Manager, appealed to the various trade unions, professional bodies and associations to also begin to educate their members on the Workmen’s Compensation Act.
He revealed that, most workers were ignorant about remedies available in case of any occupational accidents and most work places were not insured contrary to what the law required.
Mr Ameyibor therefore appealed to the Ghana Trade Union Congress, Ghana National Association of Teachers and other bodies to begin to explore other opportunities to make life more meaningful to the worker.