Compensation for workplace accidents increased up to Rs. 2 million
Labour Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva says that the approval of the Cabinet Ministers has been received to increase the compensation paid hitherto for private sector employees in the event of death or permanent disability caused by workplace accidents up to Rs two million. Accordingly, steps will be taken to raise the compensation paid for death caused by a workplace accident from Rs. 550,000 to Rs. 2,000,000.
The legal provision currently in force for providing benefits to workmen injured in the course of their employment is the Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance, No.19 of 1934. Even though the amounts of compensation paid to workmen injured in accidents hitherto was increased by the Amendment Act No.10 of 2005, the Minister stressed that new Amendment Act would be presented in Parliament soon for updating the amounts of compensation prescribed 16 years ago and other provisions incorporated in the Act to suit the present requirements.
He added that authority delegated by the Cabinet to take prompt action towards this end was a significant victory achieved by the country’s workforce.
The Minister noted that the Amendment Act which is of great importance to the private sector workforce implements the policy of ‘A culture of working for the country’ set out in the policy statement “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”. The policy statement has pledged to amend the “The Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance No: 19 of 1934 to increase compensation payments for employees.”
In addition to accidents caused to employees in the course of employment or due to employment, legal provisions have also been incorporated in the amendment bill enabling compensation to be received for accidents caused while commuting to workplace from the place of residence and commuting to place of residence from the workplace. Further, the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation has been empowered through the amendment bill to pay an amount not exceeding Rupees One Hundred Thousand out from the money deposited as compensation to meet expenses of the funeral. Similarly, provisions have been embodied in the amendment bill to revise the existing procedure in order to introduce a post of Registrar appointed by the Judicial Services Commission and to expedite the recovery process within the existing legal framework by amending the procedure enabling the Commissioner to recover compensation through a fiscal.
The calculation of compensation paid to workers who receive wages on daily and piece rate basis, determination of the minimum and maximum monthly salary applicable in the payment of compensation and the amount of compensation paid in the event of death and the amount of compensation paid in permanent, full or temporary disablement will be updated by the new amendment act, the Labour Minister stated.