Cape Furniture Manufacturers' Association

COIDA – Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act

COIDA is the acronym for the name of the legislation that governs injuries and diseases that arise in the employment context. The old legislation was known as the Workmen’s Compensation Act (WCA).

Q: Who must register with the Commissioner in terms of COIDA?

An employer carrying on business in the Republic shall within the prescribed period and in the prescribed manner register with the commissioner, and shall furnish the commissioner with the prescribed particulars of his business. (COIDA – S.80)

Q: What records should be kept in terms of this Act?

An employer shall keep a register or other record of the earning and other prescribed particulars of all employees. Such records shall be kept for a period of 4 years after the employee has left the employ of the business. The employer is also required to keep record of all accidents or injuries arising at the workplace.

Q: Must the employer provide the commissioner with record of earnings?

The employer shall by no later than 31st of March of each year furnish the commissioner with a return, in the prescribed form, showing the amount of earnings up to the maximum as contemplated in S 83(8) of the Act paid to its employees during the period with effect from the 1st of March of the preceding year up to and including the last day of February of the following year.

Q: Does an employer have to pay any monies to the commissioner?

An employer shall be assessed by the Director-General according to a tariff of assessment calculated on the bases of a percentage of the annual earnings of its employees. The assessment shall be paid to the commissioner within 30 days of receipt of the assessment.

Q: What if an employer fails to comply?

Should you fail to comply with registration or submission of information or payment of the assessment, it is an offence in terms of the Act. The commissioner has powers to impose a fine and to charge interest on late payment of assessments.

It is important to note that in terms of this Act there is the possibility of imprisonment for failure to comply. Such imprisonment may not exceed 12 months.

Q: As an employer, I am registered with the commissioner. A worker has recently been injured on duty, what am I required to do?

All accidents or injuries arising during the course of employment must be reported to the commissioner within 7 days of such accident or injury on the prescribed form. If an employer is aware of an accident, even if that accident was not fully reported to the employer, the employer is required by law to report the accident.

Q: What are the implications if an employer fails to report an accident in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed time frames?

An employer that fails to report an accident or injury may be fined by the commissioner to the total value of compensation payable to the employee for that accident or injury.

Q: Must the employer remunerate the employee for absence arising out of an IOD?

If an employee is temporarily disabled as a result of an IOD an employer must remunerate the employee at 75% of his rate for a maximum period of three months from the date of the injury.

Further details regarding compensation are recorded in Schedule 4 of the COIDA.

Conclusion:

When employees work with machinery, equipment, tools or vehicles with moving parts and sharp cutting edges there is a strong likelihood that an accident may occur. It is vital to ensure that you are registered with the commissioner and in compliance with your payment. The consequences of a fatal injury at an establishment that is not registered or in compliance is dire and in these tough economic times no business can afford to pay fines and in extreme cases no employer should face potential criminal action.

Kindly contact this office if you require COIDA registration forms or forms for the reporting of in IOD.


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