Not only do large organisations play a role, but also small, medium, and micro-enterprises in creating employment and developing the economy as well as absorbing a significant part of the unemployed labour force.
In South Africa, small businesses also have the potential to contribute to job creation in the previously disadvantaged communities to help reduce poverty. The sustainability of this sector is dependent on a strong emphasis on health and safety.
The Construction Monitor, Employment (October 2020) published by the CIDB calculates the formal sector employment in construction to be 487 587 in the second quarter of 2020 and estimates the informal sector at 391 000 according to the Stats SA Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES). As a result, it is estimated that of the 871 587 employees in both the formal and informal sector only 55,5 % of employees in the building and construction industry are covered by Workmen’s Compensation insurance (based on the assumption that all employees in the formal sector are registered for Workmen’s Compensation). South Africans are fortunate to have legislation governing health and safety. This includes the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (OHS Act) and a Compensation Fund to protect injured workmen, governed by the Compensation for Injury and Occupational Disease Act 130 of 1993 (COID Act).
The Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (RF) Pty Limited (FEM) is one of only two private sector companies that have been issued a license to provide services under the COID Act. FEM focuses on employers in the building and construction industry.
The insurance covers a wide range of types of work, from demolition work to painting and plastering; tombstone erection to the construction of swimming pools; and electrical contracting to gas fitting and plumbing, to name a few construction sub-categories.
The act also covers issues of how to resolve OHS issues such as the roles and the election process for Health and Safety Committees and Health and Safety Representatives.
Employees must have their OHS responsibilities included in their job descriptions and be equipped with the skills and knowledge to meet their responsibilities. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that this occurs as part of the supervision of employees.
Employers will be expected to prioritise the needs of their employees and to take the necessary steps to ensure a safe return to work following COVID-19. Protocols need to be put in place and reviewed to limit potential exposure.
What is Workmen’s Compensation?
It is a compulsory form of insurance providing a portion of wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of their employment and is governed by The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 (COID Act).
How does Workmen’s Compensation operate?
Employers make contributions on an annual basis and have their employees covered by either the Compensation Fund or FEM (if they are in the building and construction industry).
We have the experience to provide you, the employer, and your employees, with the best possible service. Having been established as a mutual insurer in 1936, we have provided Workmen’s Compensation for the building and construction industry for more than 80 years. FEM cares about the quality of life of injured workers and their dependents, and champions health and safety, for the benefit of all policyholders and society.
With a minimum annual premium payable by the employer to FEM from only R2500 per annum, FEM offers access to private healthcare for injured employees.
• Medical costs related to the accident are covered,
• Valid Letter of Good Standing for entrance to sites as well as tender applications
• Access to private healthcare for injured employees
• All administration is done by FEM which includes requesting all reports
• Online submission of claims documentation which helps speed up processing allowing for quick responses
• Merit rebates paid on favourable claims experiences
In addition, FEM has long-established relationships with an extensive list of private hospital groups as well as qualified professional nurses who monitor treatment to ensure it is in line with the injury, eliminating over-servicing. Accident statistics are also available online to assist employees in reducing risk. FEM also lodges Road Accident Fund claims for Motor Vehicle accidents on the employer’s behalf.
Contact: 011-359-4300 or log onto www.fem.co.za for more info.