Workers’ compensation laws are designed to provide some measure of financial protection or relief in the event that an employee of a company is injured on the job, regardless of whose fault the injury or death is.
These laws have been introduced over time as part of measures to help protect workers from employers, who often failed to give them the health and safety protections they needed.
Today, most employers are more responsible and not only do they voluntarily abide by these laws, but it is both a moral and ethical responsibility to take care of the people they employ.
The nature of workers’ compensation laws, how much a person is entitled to, what the definitions of injury and guilt are, and other considerations will vary from state to state and country to country, but there are some basic principles underlying them to all such legislation.
These laws are of particular importance to all types of agriculture and farming, as there are significant risks to normal day-to-day work, some of which can be quantified and addressed, others inherent in the nature of the work itself.
Employee compensation rules are designed to provide compensation to an employee or his family, and that employee becomes unable to perform the duties as a result of an injury or accident sustained during employment.
There may be certain conditions regarding how long an employee must have been with a company or company for such a policy to take effect, but even these will normally be quite minimal, quite often around 30 days or so
Normally, both an employer and the employee will deposit the contribution into the workers compensation fund that will be set up by a local government. This is a contribution, similar to an insurance premium, and while not technically an insurance policy, workers’ compensation normally works in a similar way.
The key element of these laws is essentially the provision of no-fault financial compensation to alleviate significant distress at the time of injury or accident.
There are, as usual, some conditions implicit in a claim, again similar to an insurance policy.
These conditions normally apply to the time frame within which a claim must be reported, how the accident was reported or dealt with and what may be required of the employee as part of a medical examination or assessment.
Payouts made through an employee’s compensation are normally made as a weekly wage, apart from a lump sum. This is in some ways intended to control the process and provide ongoing compensation while injury or accident prevents the employee from working.
In the event of a fatal accident, a lump sum may be payable depending on the terms of the scheme.
It is a normal requirement for companies to put up posters informing them about the nature of the scheme and the fact that the scheme exists for the benefit of employees. Depending on the nature of the business or workplace, businesses may also have other obligations regarding disclosure of the scheme.
This obligation extends to agriculture and farms, although the publicity and recognition of the scheme may differ depending on the regulations of the local authorities.
An employee’s main obligation is normally to notify the employer of any injury or accident as soon as reasonably practicable. This is really relevant, even if the injury doesn’t seem particularly serious at the time. Even a minor injury can become more serious over time and if not reported immediately, future claims could become void.
All notices should ideally be made or confirmed in writing, either by letter or email, as would be the case with a normal insurance claim. This can make a big difference if there are problems down the line due to delays or postponements of payment obligations.
There should also be an accident or incident book in the workplace, where all accidents and incidents should be physically recorded. This is normally an employer’s obligation.