What is the Work Injury Benefits Act?
This is a combination of the workmen injury benefit act (WIBA) and Group Personal Accident (GPA) covers. That intends to give an employer a one-stop solution for employee insurance. It addresses the workplace risk as well as off-duty risks. The payout under the WIBA section is standard as per the Act. Hence, benefits under the GPA cover help to suit individual needs – say multiplier on 3, 5 or 8 years.
How the act works
An Act of Parliament sets the Work Injury Benefit. Every employer has to compensate employees for any death/injury while on duty. Payment is for Death, Disability, and Medical expenses and funeral costs. Usually, WIBA comes into force when the injury or illness directly attributes to the working conditions in the employee’s place of work. The act considers the employer provide a means of transport to fit within the general areas where WIBA applies. In that case, if one faces an accident while riding on a company bus, such a person will be eligible for compensation under WIBA. This act provides a compensatory framework for employees involved in an accident during the course of their duties. As it stands, the injury must be accidental and must be as a cause by factors beyond the grasp of the company or the employee.
What is the WIBA Risk?
This refers to the liability that a company may face if its employees lodge a demand for compensation after falling ill. It also applies after an employee is in an accident within a place where the law holds the employer responsible for the safety of the employee.
In monetary terms
A legal WIBA payout can go as high as 96 months’ worth of pay. This type of risk is the one that employers liability insurance takes care of to shield companies from possible bankruptcy. Or making huge financial loses in the event of claims that lodges against it. The Act generally protects employees from the possibility of financial ruin should they be involved in an accident while handling their official duty. In the past, companies could get away without compensating employees who get sick or injure themselves as a result of poor working conditions. Currently, the government makes the employer responsible for employee safety, hence WIBA.
Important to note about WIBA
For the purposes of the Act, the government considers someone an employee if they have any contractual obligations with another party. In such a way that their relationship includes a consideration for work done. The act considers any agreement, verbal or otherwise, to be contractual, with the only exception being casual laborers.
For this reason, WIBA applies to all persons working for a specific employer. It is almost impossible for an employer to distance themselves from taking responsibility for the safety of those working for them under a written, verbal or implied contract. Hence, the employer remains aware of all persons doing anything on his behalf for the purposes of the act.
Every company needs the services of a lawyer to assess their legal exposure. Based on this advice the company has to get WIBA insurance to transfer this risk. In fact, the act expects every employer to ensure their employees have a WIBA insurance cover. This is so if they injure themselves while at work.