The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the National Assembly’s adoption of the Compensation of Injury on Duty Amendment Bill (COIDA Bill).
The Federation endorses the progressive provisions of the COIDA Bill. This bill is long overdue and will extend cover and relief to millions of workers, in particular women. COSATU’s support is based upon the following critical interventions included in the COIDA Bill:
- Domestic workers will now be covered, benefiting almost a million largely women workers who had been unconstitutionally excluded.
- An expanded definition of workers’ dependents and beneficiaries to include their spouse(s), children, siblings, parents, and grandparents, thus reflecting South Africa’s cultural norms.
- Diseases and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from the workplace will now be included, providing relief for millions of workers in the mining, security, and other sectors, and women.
- Introducing a no-fault rule, to replace practices in the past that have been abused to deny relief to workers.
- Providing for stiff penalties for non-compliant employers.
- Providing incentives for compliant employers.
- Empowering labour inspectors to ensure compliance by employers.
- Allowing courts to place caps on the exorbitant fees claimed by lawyers.
- Extending the time frame for submitting claims from 1 to 3 years; and
- Clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of employers, contractors, and sub-contractors; thus protecting millions of workers who otherwise fall through the cracks.
Whilst welcoming the adoption of this progressive Bill by the National Assembly, the Federation is disappointed it took so many years and unnecessary delays by government to reach this stage. The National Council of Provinces should now commence its work to ensure that it can adopt the COIDA Bill by the end of 2021.
It is critical that it come into effect in the beginning of 2022. Domestic workers have waited long enough for their rights to a safe working environment to be recognised and enshrined into law. It will provide relief and protection to millions of workers across all sectors of the economy.
Issued by COSATU.
For further information please contact:
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