COSATU welcomes Parliament’s passage of the Compensation of Injury on Duty Amendment Bill

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes Parliament’s adoption of the Compensation of Injury on Duty Amendment Bill (COIDA Bill). The Bill was adopted yesterday, the 20th of September 2022. 

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 and domestic workers. COSATU’s support is based on the following critical interventions included in the COIDA Bill:

  • Domestic workers will now be covered, benefiting almost a million largely female 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, more so women exposed to gender based violence at work. 
  • 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 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 often fall through the cracks.

Whilst welcoming the adoption of this progressive Bill by Parliament, the Federation is disappointed it took so many years and unnecessary delays by government to reach this stage. 

COSATU calls upon President Ramaphosa to urgently sign this progressive Bill into law. 

The Department of Employment and Labour as well as the Compensation of Injury on Duty Fund must put in place the necessary steps to ensure that this Bill comes into effect and is implemented by no later than December 2022.  This must include measures to ensure employers and domestic workers are aware of its provisions and that employers are held accountable for compliance with it. 

COSATU will work with it’s Affiliates, SADSAWU, government and domestic workers to ensure workers are aware of their extended rights and protections under these long overdue and badly needed amendments. 

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:

Matthew Parks-COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator