Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Policy, Parliament, Employment, Labour, Youth and Disabled, Jenista Mhagama, officially launching the Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) in Dar es Salaam yesterday, warned that the government will never tolerate dishonest officials bent on approving illegitimate claims.
“We want you (service providers) to adhere to professionalism, honesty and discipline,” said the minister when she represented Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, “The aim is to enable the fund to only serve legitimate victims as the law requires.
” WCF seeks to provide adequate and equitable compensation to workers who suffer occupational injuries or contract occupational diseases out of and in the course of their employment. Dependants receive the compensation in case of the victim’s death.
However, it has come to the government attention that some dishonest workers who might get on duty injuries may use the loophole of the ‘poorly monitored’ administration process for illegitimate gains.
The fund, which now joins the existing six social schemes in the country, will offer medical aid, compensation for temporary disablement, compensation for permanent disablement and constant attendant care grant. Other areas of coverage include rehabilitation service, funeral grants and compensation to dependants of the deceased employee.
According to the Workers Compensation Act (cap. 263), 2015 employers in the private and public sector are required to contribute to the fund one and 0.5 per cent of the employee’s salary, respectively.
Ms Mhagama affirmed the government’s readiness to pay its dues, urging the private sector to also contribute to the fund for the benefits of their employees.
“We, in the government, have already cleared our debts for this year … it’s time that the employers in the private sector remitted their contributions to the fund as well,” she stressed, describing the financial positions of other social security funds as stable.
The minister put at 8.78trn/- the combined net assets of the National Social Security Fund, National Health Insurance Fund, Private Sector Provident Fund, Local Authority Provident Fund, PPF Fund, Government Employees Provident Fund and WCF.
The funds have 2.1 million combined total members, with 1.9trn/- contributions and 7.1trn/- investments. Ms Mhagama called on the social schemes to explore the informal sector, especially petty traders, food vendors and motorcyclists.
Deputy Minister of State in PMO, Labour, Youth and Employment, Anthony Mavunde said the new legislation will now see the victims of occupation injuries getting compensations as per international standards. WCF Director General, Masha Msomba, said the fund has since its inception registered 189 claims from injured employees.
“We managed to train 359 health providers to help evaluate the magnitude of injuries.”
He said currently, WCF has partnered with seven institutions in service provision. They are the NHIF, Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute, Muhimbili National Hospital, Ocean Road Cancer Institute, AAR and Jubilee Insurance.
©Alleastafrica Daily News