Important COIDA amendments

On 17 April 2023, the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Act 10 of 2022 (COIDA Amendment Act), was published. The aim of the COIDA Amendment Act is to amend, substitute, insert, delete and repeal certain definitions and sections of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 (COIDA).

15 May 2023 4 min read Employment Law Alert Article

At a glance

  • The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Act 10 of 2022 aims to amend and update the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act of 1993.
  • The amendment introduces new categories for rehabilitation, psychosocial support, and remuneration of board members and staff of the Compensation Fund.
  • It establishes employees' rights to claim benefits for workplace accidents, including accidents during transportation to and from work, and accidents during work-related training for emergency services. It also addresses compensation for accidents occurring outside of South Africa and sets a new prescription period for reporting accidents. Non-compliance with certain provisions can result in penalties.

It further seeks to provide for the following:

  • For the Commissioner to perform certain functions that were previously performed by the Director-General.
  • For matters pertaining to the rehabilitation, re-integration and return to work of occupationally injured and diseased employees.
  • To regulate the use of healthcare services.
  • For the Commissioner to review pension claims or awards; to provide for administrative penalties; to regulate compliance and enforcement; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Unpacked in today’s alert are the keys aspects of the COIDA Amendment Act.

  1. Amendment 16 makes provision for three new categories. The first is rehabilitation of people who have work-related injuries and occupational diseases. Second, is to provide psychosocial support subsequent to an occupational injury or occupational disease, which forms part of clinical, vocational and social rehabilitation services, and third, the prescribed remuneration of the board members, Commissioner and staff of the Compensation Fund.
  2. Section 22 provides for employees’ rights to claim benefits if they are involved in an accident resulting in their disablement or death at the actual workplace, in conveyance by or on behalf of their employer to or from their place of employment, or in conveyance to any place for the purposes of their employment by means of any mode of transportation in furtherance of the business of their employer.
  3. The COIDA Amendment Act further provides that “conveyance” will be deemed to start once an employee reaches the place designated by the employer for pick-up and ceases on drop-off at the place designated by the employer. Compensation in instances where the accident is attributable to the serious and wilful misconduct of the employee will only be payable where serious disablement has resulted, or the employee dies as a consequence, leaving a dependant wholly financially dependent upon them.
  4. Section 23 outlines the manner in which accidents occurring outside of South Africa are dealt with. In the event where an employee of who is ordinarily employed in South Africa, by an employer who carries on business in South Africa, meets with an accident while temporarily employed outside South Africa, the employee will, subject to paragraph (c) of the COIDA Amendment Act, be entitled to compensation as if the accident had happened in South Africa.
  5. It is important to note that in accordance with section 23, the compensation of an employee claiming from the Compensation Fund for accidents that happen outside South Africa shall be determined on the basis of the earnings which the employee, in the opinion of the Commissioner, would have received if they had remained in South Africa at the time that the accident occurred.
  6. Section 25 also provides for compensation to employees who have had accidents during the training for or performance of emergency services while undergoing any work-related training in the furtherance and pursuance of the employer's business. This was not provided for before.
  7. Section 30 provides for the provision of a licence to carry out business of the Compensation Fund and allows the Minister of Employment and Labour (Minister), for a period and subject to the conditions the Minister determines, to issue a licence to carry on the business of insurance of employers against their liabilities to employees in terms of this act to a licensee. This is, however, subject to the licensee depositing securities considered by the Director-General to be sufficient to cover the liabilities of the licensee in terms of the COIDA Amendment Act, as may be requested and ordered by the Minister.
  8. If the Minister is satisfied that the whole or any portion of the security is no longer necessary and that the licensee concerned is not in a position to incur a liability, the Minister can have the security, or a portion thereof, returned to the licensee.
  9. Section 36 provides that the employer and the Compensation Fund will be unable to recover damages or compensation paid in terms of the COIDA Amendment Act from the Road Accident Fund, as it is no longer considered to be a third party for purposes of the COIDA Amendment Act. In the event where an employee is involved in an accident on a road, not arising out of and in the course of an employee’s employment at the time of the accident, the employee will not be entitled to compensation in terms of the COIDA Amendment Act.
  10. Section 44 provides for a new prescription period of three years from the date in which the accident in question occurred for the accident to be brought to the attention of the Commissioner.
  11. Section 48 provides that the right to compensation for temporary total or partial disablement will expire if the employee is declared medically fit to resume the work for which they were employed at the time of the accident or occupational disease, or resumes any other work at the same or greater earnings.
  12. Section 91 provides that any person affected by a decision of the Commissioner may, within 12 months after the decision, lodge an objection against that decision with the Commissioner in the prescribed manner.
  13. Section 99 provides that any person who does not comply with the provisions of sections 39, 40, 47, 64, 68, 81, 82 and 83 will be liable to a penalty or penalties as specified in the various sections.

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