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Tanzania: Employers Risk Harsh Punishment Over Non-Registration With WCF

THE government yesterday warned defiant employers who have not registered with the Worker Compensation Fund (WCF), threatening stern legal measures.

Launching the first WCF Stakeholders Meeting here, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled, Ms Jenista Mhagama said all formal private and public employers have to comply with the law that established the fund.

She said failure to register with the security scheme is a crime, adding that the government will ensure that the law follows its course against non-compliant employers. WCF is a social security scheme established in accordance with Section 5 of the Workers Compensation Act (Cap.263 revised edition of 2015).

The main purpose of the scheme is to provide adequate and equitable compensation to employees who suffer occupational diseases in the course of their employment and in case of death, their dependants receive compensation.

The minister warned that stern legal measures will be taken against all employers failing to fully comply with the law, through contributions to the fund, which became operational in July 2015.

She called on employers to put efforts in preventing occupational related accidents and diseases, saying many workers have been rendered helpless due to the incidents.

Earlier, WCF Director General Masha Mshomba said awareness raising was going on and that employers who had already registered are happy because they concentrate on administration and production issues while employees are sure of getting support in case of accidents.

He said the long-term targets are institutional capacity building at WCF, improve work systems, create conducive working environment and enable medical practitioners to perform their duties well in terms of evaluating diseases and injuries at work and extent of needed compensation.

Mr Mshomba said they aim at averting accidents and diseases at work places and enhance safety of workers. He said quality medical services will be delivered to enable victims to return to work soon after the accidents or diseases.

WCF Board Chairman Emmanuel Humba said the fund is supporting the government’s industrial drive, hinting that in partnership with other investors, WCF is investing in wine production in Dodoma, pharmaceuticals in Simiyu and in Morogoro Canvas Mill.

The scheme envisages opening offices in Arusha, Dodoma, Mbeya and Mwanza after Dar es Salaam the headquarters. The two-day meeting is themed, ‘Compensation Benefits: Employee’s Right and the Need for Promoting Industrial Economy.’ Contribution rates so far are one per cent of employees’ earnings (wage bill) for each employer in private sector and 0.5 per cent in the public sector.

The wage bill includes basic salaries plus all fixed allowances that are regularly paid.

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