Why you must register for Workers' Compensation

16th February 2007 By: System Author

COIDA
All employers (as defined in the Act) are required to register for workers’ compensation and any employer who fails to register is guilty of an offence. As a result of the implementation ofthe Act, general rights to employees under common law to sue their employers forlosses suffered in the course of their employment have been removed.

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 130 (COIDA) was signed into South African law to provide compul-sory compensation for all employees under contract of employment (with a few exceptions) for death or personal injury suffered in the course of their employment.

Events covered under COIDA include: • Accidents that arise out of and in the course of an employee’s employment resulting in a personal injury, illness or death.

• Specific occupational diseases contractedin the workplace owing to exposure of theemployee to certain agents or conditions found in the work environment.

• Fatal cases where an employee dies because of an accident that happend on duty.

ABOUT FEM
The FEDERATED EMPLOYERS’ MUTUAL ASSURANCE COMPANY LTD (FEM) was established as a mutual insurer in 1936 and, on introduction of the Workmens’ Compensation Act, 1941, was granted a licence to transact workmens’ compensation insurance for the building and construction industry. FEM has therefore been providing such services to theindustry for over 70 years. FEM’s businessoperations are essentially confined to theinsurance of employers against their liabilities under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (COIDA) FEM provides insurance cover to thebuilding and construction industry along-side the State’s Compensation Fund which is managed by the Compensation Commissioner. This insurance compensates employees or their dependants following injury arising fromoccupational accidents or illness contracted in the course of their employment.

The licence granted by the Department of Labour allows FEM to operate in the building/construction industry – Class V of the Department of Labour’s Classification of Industries. This classification covers ALLaspects of building and construction in its broadest context, e.g. building operations, roofing, painting and plastering, swimming pools, electrical, flooring and tiling, plumbing,tunnelling, rock drilling, water boring, civil engineering, steel engineering and construction, scaffolding and formwork, and airconditioning.

The majority of the larger constructioncompanies and numerous extremely largejoint ventures have opted to insure with FEM. Over 3 000 employers are registered with FEM at present.

Why register with FEM?
Any new employer in the building and construction industry may apply to register with FEM at any time. The Compensation Commissioner has also given authority for employers in the building and constructionindustry, who are in good standing, to transfer their liability from the State fund to FEM.

There are a number of benefits of registering with FEM.

Ease of access
FEM has regional offices in major centres,which make it possible for employers and employees to maintain close links andreceive excellent professional and personalised service.

Letters of Good Standing
Subject to conditions, FEM can provide the Letter of Good Standing almost immed-iately upon request.

Information
Monthly reports (available on request)provide relevant information in respect of standing/expenses/claims, etc.

Distribution of Information Circulars which are aimed at the building/constructionindustry.

Health and Safety information, induction and assistance, provided at no charge.

Merit Rebates
Merit Rebates (no-claim bonus) to amaximum of 50% of premium paid are paid out annually (October/November) toemployers with favourable claims exper-ience. Rebates are payable to employersafter 2 years’ experience and subject to terms and conditions.

Assessment Rates
The assessment rates are the same as those of the Compensation Commissioner. FEM operates under a specific licence and runs ‘parallel’ to the Commissioner.

Administration
FEM will assist the employer by obtainingthe required medical and other relevantreports at no extra cost.

Health and safety FEM has, from its inception, been a firmsupporter of health and safety in the construction industry. One of the ways FEM promotes health and safety is by granting an annual merit rebate to its policyholders. In addition, FEM has dedicated Health and Safety Officers in eachregion to assist policyholders in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Our expert Health and Safety Officers will advise on all aspects of health and safety,including assistance with site audits, safety plans, risk assessments and presentations and workshops.

Conclusion
The Federated Employers’ Mutual Assurance Company Limited (FEM) was formed by thebuilders to provide a service for the builders.

FEM is strongly positioned to face futurechallenges and remains committed to the pro-vision of an effective and efficient compensation service to all our stakeholders.

FEM’s team is available to provide this serviceright within the geographical area of youroperation.