Cosatu backs changes to work injury compensation law
Cape Town - Cosatu is backing changes to the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment (Coida) Bill saying it will protect the workers from injury while on duty.
The National Assembly committee on employment and labour is hearing oral submissions related to the bill.
While they welcome the amendment, Cosatu’s parliamentary co-ordinator Mark Parks said the bill needs to be strengthened.
“It is a critical amendment bill that will strengthen the protection of workers from injury on duty, increase relief and rehabilitation for those injured.”
He said Cosatu’s support is based on domestic workers who would now be covered, benefiting almost a million largely women workers who were unconstitutionally excluded.
Parks made recommendations on how the bill can be improved and these include uplifting the rehabilitation from optional to a right.
“This is critical to prevent employers retrenching injured workers when they should be ensuring their rehabilitation and return to work and setting clear oversight mechanisms for insurance and compensation funds.
“For example that workers constitute 50% of their boards, they are held to account by the minister and clear appeal mechanisms exist for workers denied their claims.”
He added that Cosatu trusts the committee will consider its two sets of proposed amendments to further strengthen and clarify the rehabilitation and the licensing provisions.
“Parliament should defend and not be convinced by calls to gut, dilute, or weaken this progressive and needed amendment bill.
“It has taken many years to reach Parliament and should not be delayed any further.
“Cosatu urges Parliament to prioritise, strengthen and pass this progressive bill as soon as possible.”