On 10 March 2021, the Workmen’s Compensation Commissioner published regulations with regard to Domestic Workers being covered by the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).
This was in response to a Constitutional Court Order made on 19 November 2020 which declared that this means that Domestic employees will now be entitled for compensation in the event they are injured or contract diseases while on duty. In addition, the order has been made retrospective to 27 April 1994.
the employee is a person who has entered into or works under a contract of service or of apprenticeship or learnership, with an employer, whether the contract is express or implied, oral or in writing, and whether the remuneration is calculated by time or by work done, or is in cash or in kind. Types of benefits paid in terms of the Act Compensation payable to domestic workers for occupational injuries and diseases.
Specifically covered by the act, other than permanent employees are:
Domestic workers together with Members of the Armed Forces, Police Force and Independent Contractors were excluded until the new ruling.
The cover now provided to Domestic Workers who have been injured on duty or who have contracted a disease during the course of their duty, is the same as the benefit available to all employees and has been well described in the document published by the DOL as follows:
A right to claim in terms of the Act shall lapse if the accident that happened or the disease that commenced on or after 27th April 1994 is not brought to the attention of the Commissioner or of the employer or mutual association concerned, as the case may be, within 12 months from 19th November 2020.
This ruling means that all employers of domestic employees are obliged to register as employers with the Compensation Fund and submit the necessary returns as obliged. All employers of domestic workers are therefore encouraged to register with the Compensation Fund without delay.