WORKERS' COMPENSATION ACT
Arrangement of Sections
1. Short title
3. Meaning of worker
4. Meaning of dependant
5. Meaning of employer
APPLICATION OF ACT
6. Civil liability of employer
7. Concurrent remedies
8. Principal and contractors
9. Workers employed outside Zambia
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FUND CONTROL BOARD
10. Establishment of Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board
11. Functions of Board
12. Tenure of office of members of Board
13. Proceedings of Board
14. Seal of Board
15. Remuneration and allowances
16. Commissioner and other staff
17. Powers of Commissioner
18. Inspection and investigation
20. Revision of compensation by Commissioner
21. Power of Commissioner in respect of witnesses, etc.
22. Appeal from decision
23. Suspension of obligation
24. Technical assessors
25. Appointment of actuary
26. Actuarial valuation of Fund
27. Action on actuarial report
MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS, CERTIFICATES OF FITNESS AN REPORT
28. Application of Part IV
29. Types of certificates
30. No employment without or in breach of, a certificate of fitness
31. Application forms for prescribed examination
32. Delivery of previous certificate before new examination
33. Stages of pneumoconiosis
34. Initial examinations
35. Periodical examinations
36. Employer to arrange examination on expiry of certificate of fitness
37. Persons eligible for periodical examination
38. Issue of periodical certificates of fitness
39. Examination of miners before leave or discharge
40. Description of examination
41. Miners suspected of compensable disease to be examined
42. Examination for benefits
43. Additional examination on miners request
44. Period of validity of certificate
45. Power to correct certificate of fitness
46. Issue and custody of certificate of fitness
47. Lost or destroyed certificates of fitness
48. Examiner to issue reports
49. Post mortem examination
50. Examiner may direct post mortem examination
RIGHT TO COMPENSATION
51. Right to compensation
52. Accident during first aid training or rescue work
53. Compensation not affected by other pension
54. Successive awards of compensation
55. Contracting out prohibited
56. Deductions from earning prohibited
57. Death or disablement attributed to effects of medical treatment
58. Circumstances precluding award of compensation
59. Cessation and revival of periodical payments
60. Suspension of right to periodical payments
61. No abatement of compensation if worker insured
62. Contract of service not to be terminated during disablement
63. Wages for work done
64. Workers not entitled to periodical payments
LIABILITY FOR COMPENSATION AND AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION
66. Liability to pay compensation
66. Amount of compensation for total disablement
67. Amount of compensation for partial disablement
68. Limit of time for periodical payments
69. Amount of compensation for permanent disablement
70. Further medical aid while receiving pension
71. Amount of compensation for death of worker
72. Compensation where worker in receipt of pension dies
73. Diminution of children’s allowances
74. Child over seventeen may continue to receive allowances
75. Pensioner absent from country
76. Dependant absent from country
77. Pension to cease on remarriage and gratuity to be paid on remarriage
78. Commissioner to be informed of death of pensioner, etc.
79. Method of calculating earnings
80. Calculation of earnings of permanently disabled worker under twenty-one years
81. Payment of lump sum in lieu of pension
82. Worker requiring constant attendance
83. Control of payment of compensation
84. Where employer is liable to pay compensation
85. Advances against compensation
86. Review of pensions and allowances
PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING COMPENSATION
87. Notice of accident or disease to be given
88. Employer to give notice of accident, disease to Commissioner
89. Additional information to be supplied
90. Entry of judgement in favour of Board
91. Worker to furnish medical certificates
92. Commissioner may require medical reports, etc.
93. Commissioner may call evidence
94. Worker claiming compensation to submit to medical examination:
95. Procedure upon information of accident
96. Procedure on presentation of claim
97. Provisional settlement of claim by exempt employer
98. Commissioner may require employer to make periodical payments
99. First aid
100. Conveyance of injured worker
101. Medical aid expenses
102. Decisions of Commissioner in regard to medical aid
103. Power to prescribe fees for medical aid
104. Establishment of Fund
105. Application of Fund
106. Payment of compensation by Commissioner in respect of accidents arising under repealed Act
107 Powers of Board
108. Holding of Assets of Fund
109. Accounts and Audit
110. Liability to assessment
112. Employers to submit information
113. Assessment on employers
114. Assessment variations
115. Assessment of employers of domestic workers
116. Contributions by exempt employers
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION TRIBUNAL
117. Establishment of Tribunal
118. Composition of Tribunal
119. Tenure of office of member
120. Vacation of office of member
121. Remuneration of members
122. Secretariat of Tribunal
123. Functions of Tribunal
124. Decision of Tribunal
125. Procedures of Tribunal
126. Representation of parties
127. Powers of Tribunal
128. Summoning of witnesses
129. Witnesses failing to attend
130. False evidence
131. Witness expenses
133. Appeal to High Court
134. Employer to supply particulars of business
135. Employers to keep records
136. Threats and compulsion
137. False statements
138. Failure to pay assessments, etc.
139. Compensation not to form part of deceased worker's estate
140. Recovery of benefits paid in error
141. Priority of payment
142. Compensation not to be assigned, etc.
144. Reciprocal arrangements
145. Summary of procedure for recovery of compensation to be displayed by employer
146. Arrangements with institutions administering social security
147. Vesting of assets and liabilities
148. Registration of property to be transferred by the Boards
149. Employees of dissolved Boards
150. Legal Proceedings
153. Repeal and savings
to revise the law relating to the compensation of workers for disabilities suffered or diseases contracted during the course of employment; to provide for the merger of the functions of the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board and the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Board; to provide for the establishment and administration of a Fund for the compensation of workers disabled by accidents occurring, or diseases contracted in the course of employment; to provide for the payment of compensation to dependents of workers who die as a result of accidents or diseases; to provide for the payment of contributions to the Fund by employers; to provide for the appointment and powers of a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, the establishment and functions of a Workers’ Compensation Fund Board and a Workers Compensation Tribunal; and to provide for matters connected with and incidental to the foregoing.
[1st December, 2000]
Act 10 of 1999.
This Act may be cited as the Workers’ Compensation Act .
(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“accident” means an accident resulting in injury to a worker or in damage to, or destruction of, any artificial aid used by a worker in the course of employment;
“actuary ” means the person appointed by the Board under section 25 to carry out functions under this Act;
“assessment” means an assessment or a provisional assessment made under Part VIII;
“Board” means the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board established by section 10;
“business” means any industry, undertaking, trade, occupation or other activity in which any worker is employed;
“certificate” means any certificate issued by the Examiner under this Act;
“child” means an unmarried son or daughter under the age of eighteen years, and includes—
(a) an illegitimate child;
(b) a posthumous child;
(c) an adopted child;
(d) the child of any person with whom the worker was, in the opinion of the Commissioner, living as man and wife at the time of the accident or disease if that child was wholly supported by the worker; and
(e) a child in respect of whom a worker had assumed, under the law and customs of the community of which the worker is a member, responsibility for support of that child and who was supported by the worker at the time of the accident or disease;
“children’s allowance” means the monthly allowance payable in respect of a child or children of a disabled or deceased worker under Part V;
“Commissioner” means the Worker’s Compensation Commissioner appointed under section16;
“compensation” means compensation under this Act, and includes medical aid and any benefit of any nature to which a worker or that worker’s dependents may be entitled under this Act and children shall be construed accordingly;
“disablement” in relation to a worker, means disablement which results in the loss or diminution of wage-earning capacity or in the reduction of the chances of obtaining employment;
“dissolved Boards” means the Workers’ Compensation Board and the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Board established under the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Pneumoconiosis Act, respectively;
“domestic worker ”means a person who is employed in demotic service in a private household;
“earnings” means the average remuneration of a worker at the time of an accident or disease calculated in the manner provided in section 79;
“employer” means a person regarded as, or deemed to be, an employer under section 5, and includes a principal and the lawful representatives, successors or assigns of that person or principal;
“Examiner” means any person, body of persons or institution appointed by the Minister, by statutory order, to conduct medical examinations under the Act;
“exempted employer” means an employer to whom exemption has been granted under section 111, and includes the State;
“financial year” means the period between the 1st April in any year and the 31st March next following, both dates included;
“Fund” means the Workers’ Compensation Fund established under Part IX;
“injury” means a personal injury and includes the contraction of a disease;
“legal practitioner” has the meaning assigned to it by the Legal Practitioners Act;
“medical aid ” means any or all of the benefits prescribed in paragraphs (a) to (e) of sub-section (1) of section 101;
“medical practitioner” means a person registered as a medical practitioner under the Medical and Allied Professions Act and, in relation to any medical examination of, or report upon, any worker who is for the time being in any country, outside Zambia, a person entitled to practice medicine in that country who has been approved for the purpose concerned by the Commissioner;
“member ” means a member of the Worker’s Compensation Fund Control Board;
“miner ” means, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2)—
(a) any person employed or who has been employed at a scheduled mine and the nature of the employment necessitates working below the surface of the ground or in any scheduled place;
(b) any other person whom an Examiner certifies to have contracted pneumoconiosis, which in the opinion of the Board after consultation with an Examiner, was contracted as a result of employment at a scheduled mine or place;
“partial disablement ” in relation to a worker means––
(a) the inability of that worker, as a result of an accident or disease in respect of which compensation is payable, to perform the whole of the work at which that worker was employed at the time of the accident or incidence of the disease;
(b) the inability to obtain other suitable work at the same rate of earnings as the worker was receiving at the time of the accident or incidence of the disease;
“pension ” means the amount payable monthly under Part V, but does not include children’s allowances or periodical payments;
“periodical payment ” means a periodical payment of compensation under sections 66 and 67;
“person under disability ” means a minor, and a mentally disordered or defective person:
“pneumoconiosis ” means any form of lung disease due to the inhalation of dust;
“principal” means a person referred to as a principal in section 8;
“repealed Acts” means the Workers Compensation Act. 1964 and the Pneumoconiosis Act, 1950;
“representative” means the executor or other person lawfully appointed to take charge of the estate of a deceased worker and, if there is no person so appointed, means any person appointed by the Commissioner under this Act to make an application on behalf of the deceased worker’s dependents for compensation, and in other respects to act as the representative of that worker for the purposes of this Act;
“scheduled disease “ means any disease specified in the First Schedule;
“scheduled mine ” means any mine specified in the Sixth Schedule;
“scheduled place ” means any place specified in the Second Schedule;
“serious and willful misconduct ” means—
(b) a contravention of any law or instructions of the employer made for the purpose of ensuring the safety or health of workers or of preventing accidents or diseases to workers, if the contravention was committed deliberately or with a reckless disregard of the provisions of that law; or
(c) any other act or omission which the Commissioner or any court on appeal may, having regard to all circumstances of an accident or disease, declare to be serious and wilful misconduct;
“total disablement”, in relation to a worker, means the inability of that worker, as a result of an accident or disease in respect of which compensation is payable, to perform the work for which the worker was employed at the time of the accident or other suitable work; and
“Tribunal” means the Worker’s Compensation Appeal Tribunal established under the provisions of section 117.
(2) For the purpose of the definition of “miner" in sub-section(1), "working” does not include the performance, whether underground or in a scheduled place, of—
(a) infrequent inspections or other occasional duties; or
(b) any work or duty necessitated by and performed during any serious emergency.
(3) Where there is doubt or a dispute arises whether duties are infrequent, occasional or otherwise, or whether any emergency was serious or not, or as to the duration of any emergency, the advice shall be sought of the person in charge of mine safety under the Mines and Minerals Act.
(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, and subject to sub-section (3) “worker”—
(a) means any person who has entered into, or works under, a contract of service or of apprenticeship or of learner ship with an employer, whether the contract is expressed or implied, is oral or in writing, and whether the remuneration is calculated by time or by work done, or is in cash or in kind; and
(b) includes any person whose occupation is conveying for gain persons or goods by means of any vehicle, vessel or aircraft, the use of which that person has obtained under any contract other than a purchase or a hire-purchase agreement, whether or not the remuneration of the person under such a contract is partly an agreed sum and partly a share in takings, but does not include any person whose remuneration is fixed solely by a share in takings.
(2) If, in any claim for compensation under this Act, it appears to the Commissioner that the contract of service or apprenticeship or learnership under which the injured worker was working at the time when the accident causing the injury happened was illegal or otherwise unenforceable for any reason, the Commissioner may deal with the matter as if the contract had at the time been a valid contract of service, or apprenticeship or learnership.
(3) The following persons are excepted from the definition of “worker“—
(a) any person in—
(i) the Zambia Police Force or the Public Service;
(ii) the public service of any government or authority specified by the Minister, by statutory notice;
(b) any person employed casually by an employer and not in connection with the employer’s trade or business;
(c) any person to whom articles or materials are given out by any employer to be made up, cleaned, washed, ornamented, finished or repaired or adapted for sale on premises not under the control of the employer;
(d) a member of the Defence Force; or
(e) any person who is a member of a Service Commission established under the provisions of the Service Commissions Act.
(4) Any reference in this Act to a worker who has been injured or infected by disease shall, when the worker is dead or is a person under disability, include a reference to that workers’ representative or to the dependents or to any other person to whom or for whose benefit compensation is payable.
(1) Subject to the other provisions of this section and unless the context otherwise requires, “dependent “ means—
(a) the spouse of a worker living with the worker at the time of the accident or disease concerned;
(b) any child of a worker if born before or within ten months after the time of the accident or disease concerned;
(c) any parent or step-parent of a worker, or any adoptive parent who adopted the worker if the Commissioner is satisfied that the worker was adopted and the adoption was prior to the accident or incidence of the disease;
(d) any brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister, or any grandparent or grandchild of a worker; or
(e) any other relation to the worker, whether by consanguinity or affinity, who was wholly dependent for support and maintenance upon the worker at the time of the accident or incidence of the disease concerned.
(2) A person who falls within the provision of paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d) of sub-section (1) shall only be deemed to be a dependent if that person was wholly or partly dependent for support and maintenance upon the worker at the time of the accident or incidence of the disease concerned.
(3) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, the child of a worker or a person in respect of whom a declaration has been made under the provisions of section 74 shall be deemed to be dependent for support and maintenance upon the worker.
(4) In the case of a worker who leaves two or more spouses, the spouses shall be entitled to share between themselves such compensation as would be payable to a single spouse of the deceased worker, jointly or in such proportions as the Commissioner may decide.
(1) The Government and any person or anybody of persons, corporate or incorporate, having a contract of service or apprenticeship or learner ship with a worker shall be regarded, for the purposes of this Act, as the employer of that worker, whether the contract was entered into before the commencement of this Act.
(2) If the services of a worker are temporarily lent or let on hire to another person by the person with whom a contract of service, apprenticeship or learner ship is made shall, except as provided in sub-section (1) of section 8, be deemed to continue to be the employer of the worker while the worker is working for that other person.
(3) In the case of a worker whose occupation is conveying for gain any person or goods by means of any vehicle, vessel or aircraft, the use of which the worker obtained from some other persons under a contract other than a purchase or hire-purchase agreement, the other person shall, for the purpose of this Act, be deemed to be the employer.
(4) In the case of a worker employed by a club or other association of persons, the members of the managing committee, or, if there be no committee, the secretary or other responsible officer, of the club or association shall be deemed to be the employer.
(5) For the purposes of the giving or receiving of statements, notices or other documents under this Act, the term “employer” includes a manager, secretary, accountant, treasurer, duly authorised agent or other responsible person appointed by the worker’s employer.
APPLICATION OF ACT
(1) Where any injury is caused or disease contracted by a worker by the negligence, breach of statutory duty or other wrongful act or omission of the employer, or of any person for whose act or default the employer is responsible, nothing in this Act shall limit or in any way affect any civil liability of the employer independently of this Act.
(2) Any damages awarded to a worker in an action at common law or under any law in respect of any negligence, breach of statutory duty, wrongful act or omission, under sub-section (1), shall be reduced by the value, as decided by the court, of any compensation which has been paid or is payable to the Fund under this Act in respect of injury sustained or disease contracted by the worker.
(3) For the purposes of sub-section (1), “compensation” includes, in the case of a continuing liability, the capitalist value, as determined by the court, of the pension, periodical payment or allowance which constitutes the liability.
(1) Where an accident or disease in respect of which compensation is payable was caused or contracted in circumstances creating a legal liability in some person other than the employer, in this section referred to as the “ third party”, to pay damages to the worker in respect thereof—
(a) the worker may both claim compensation under this Act and take proceedings against the third party in a court to recover damages:
Provided that where any proceedings are instituted; the court shall, in awarding damages, have regard to the amount which, by virtue of the provisions of paragraph (b), is likely to become payable to the Commissioner or the exempted employer, by the third party; and
(b) the Commissioner or the exempted employer by whom compensation is payable shall have a right of action against the third party for the recovery of the compensation that the employer is obliged to pay under this Act as a result of the accident or disease and may exercise the right either by joining in a suit instituted by the worker against the third party or by instituting a separate suit:
Provided that the amount recoverable under this paragraph shall not exceed the amount of damages, if any, which would have been awarded to the worker but for the provisions of this Act.
(2) A worker shall, before instituting proceedings under sub-section (1) notify the Commissioner or the exempted employer in writing of the intention to do so and shall notify the Commissioner or the employer if the worker decides to abandon the proceedings or to relinquish or settle the claim for damages.
(3) For the purposes of this section. “compensation” includes, in the case of a continuing liability, the capitalised value, as determined by the court, of the pension, periodical payment or allowance which constitutes the liability.
(1) Where any person, in this section referred to as the principal, in the course of or for the purposes of that person’s trade or business, contracts with any other person, in this section referred to as the contractor, for the execution by or under the supervision of the contractor, of the whole or any part of any work undertaken by the principal, any worker engaged on such work shall be deemed to be the worker of the principal unless and until the contractor in respect of the work has been assessed as an employer and has paid all assessments due to the Fund for the current year, and any reference in this Act to the employer shall be deemed to be a reference to the principal:
Provided that if compensation becomes payable to the worker under this Act, the amount of compensation shall be calculated with reference to the earnings of the worker under the employer by whom the worker is immediately employed.
(2) Where the principal has paid an assessment or compensation which, but for the provisions of sub-section (1), the principal would not have been liable to pay, the principal shall be entitled to reimbursement by the contractor to an extent as the Commissioner, on application made by the principal, finds that the contractor would have been liable had that contractor been deemed under this Act to be the employer of the worker.
(3) The principal shall ensure that any assessment for which the contractor is liable is paid and if the principal fails to do so, that principal shall be personally liable to pay the assessment to the Commissioner and the provisions of this Act with regard to enforcing assessments shall apply to the principal but that principal shall be entitled to reimbursement by the contractor of any sum paid out under this sub-section.
(4) Where a principal has paid to the Commissioner any assessment or compensation under the provisions of sub-section (2) or (3), the principal shall, unless reimbursed by the contractor, be entitled to deduct an amount determined in accordance with sub-section (2) from any moneys due by the principal to the contractor.
(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, the Commissioner shall first proceed against the contractor for the recovery of compensation instead of against the principal, and in the event of failure to recover fully from the contractor, may recover the balance from the principal.
(6) This section shall not be construed so as to impose any liability on the principal in respect of any accident which occurs or disease that is contracted elsewhere than on, in or about the premises on which the principal has undertaken to execute the work or which are otherwise under the principal’s control or management.
(1) Where an employer carries on business chiefly within Zambia and the usual place of employment of the worker is in Zambia and an accident occurs or a disease is contracted by the worker While temporarily employed by the employer out of Zambia, the worker shall be entitled to compensation in the same manner as if the accident or disease had occurred or been contracted in Zambia.
(2) The provisions of this sub-section shall cease to apply to a worker after being employed out of Zambia for a continuous period of twelve months unless the Commissioner has, before the end of that period, agreed with the worker and the employer concerned that those provisions should, subject to conditions as the Commissioner may determine, continue to apply.
(3) Where an employer carries on business chiefly outside Zambia and an accident occurs or a disease is contracted by a worker ordinarily employed outside Zambia but temporarily employed by the employer in Zambia at the time of the accident or incidence of disease, that worker shall not be entitled to compensation out of the Fund unless the employer has previously agreed with the Commissioner that such a worker shall be entitled to compensation, and has paid assessment.
(4) Where, by the law of the country in which an accident occurs or a disease is contracted, a worker in the circumstances described in sub-section (1) is entitled to compensation in respect of the accident or disease, or where the accident occurs or the disease is contracted in Zambia and the worker would be entitled to compensation under the law of any other country as well as under this Act, the worker shall, by notice to the Commissioner, elect to claim compensation either under this Act or under the law of the other country.
(5) A worker who elects to claim compensation under this Act as required under sub-section (4) shall—
(a) present a claim under this Act; and
(b) cede to the Commissioner or the exempted employer the claim under the law of the other country, and if the amount recoverable under that other law exceeds the, amount of compensation under this Act, the cession shall be effective in respect of so much of the claim as equals the amount of such compensation.
(6) A worker who elects to claim compensation under the law of another country as required under sub-section (4) shall, where the amount recoverable is less than the compensation which would have been payable under this Act, receive compensation not exceeding the amount of the difference.
(7) Where a worker elects to claim compensation under the law of another country as required under sub-section (4) and the claim lies against the employer who has paid assessments, the Commissioner shall reimburse the employer to the extent of the compensation payable under this Act.
WORKER'S COMPENSATION FUND CONTROL BOARD
(1) There is hereby established the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and being sued and, in its corporate name, subject to the provisions of this Act, to do all such acts and things as a body corporate may by law do or perform and as are necessary for or incidental to the carrying out of its functions under this Act.
(2) The Board shall consist of eleven members who shall be appointed by the Minister as follows—
(a) the chairperson of the Board;
(b) three persons from associations representing employers;
(c) three persons from associations representing workers;
(d) three representatives from the Government; and
(e) one person from an association of pensioners.
(1)Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Board shall be responsible for the administration of the Fund and for advising the Minister on any matters in connection with the Fund or this Act.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (1), the Board shall—
(a) direct the Commissioner for the effective administration of the Act; and
(b) after the conclusion of the financial year, report to the Minister on the administration of the Fund and of this Act during the year.
(3) The Board may promote, establish and subsidize out of the Fund any organisation or scheme the objects of which consist of, or include, one or more of the following––
(a) the prevention of accidents or of any diseases which are due to the nature of any occupation;
(b) the promotion of the health or safety of workers; or
(c) the provision of facilities designed to assist injured or affected workers to return to work or to reduce or remove any handicap resulting from the injuries or disease.
(1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, a member shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of appointment and may be re-appointed for a further like period.
(2) A member shall cease to hold office if the member—
(c) is adjudged bankrupt or enters into any arrangement for the benefit of that member’s creditors;
(d) is adjudged to be of unsound mind;
(e) is convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment without the option of a fine;
(f) without reasonable cause is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Board of which the member had notice; or
(g) is removed by the Minister under sub-section (3).
(3) The Minister may remove a member from the Board if in the opinion of the Minister the member is incapable of performing functions specified under the Act.
(1) The Board may meet together for the dispatch of business, adjourn and otherwise, regulate its meetings and proceedings as it deems fit.
(2) A majority of members shall constitute a quorum of any meeting of the Board, and all acts, matters or things authorised or required to be done by the Board shall be decided by resolution of any meeting at which a quorum is present
(3) Where the Chairperson is absent from a meeting of the Board the members present, if they constitute a quorum shall elect one of their number to be Chairperson of that meeting.
(1) The seal of the Board shall be such device as may be determined by the Board.
(2) The seal shall not be affixed to any instrument except by authority of a resolution of the Board, and the sealing of any instrument shall be authenticated by the signature of the Chairperson or such other person as the Board may appoint for the purpose.
(1) The members of the Board shall be paid such remuneration, travelling and subsistence allowances, as the Minister may approve.
(2) The remuneration and allowances under sub-section (1) shall be paid out of the Fund.
(1) The Minister shall, in consultation with the Board, appoint the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner who shall hold office for a period of three years but shall be eligible for reappointment.
(2) The Board may appoint such other persons as, in its opinion, are necessary for the administration of this Act.
(3) The Commissioner may, subject to the general or special directions of the Board, delegate any of the powers and functions under section 17 to any person appointed under sub-section (2).
(4) The amount of remuneration and the terms and conditions of service of all persons appointed under this section shall, subject to the approval of the Minister, be determined by the Board and that remuneration shall be paid out of the Fund.
Subject to the provision of this Act, the Commissioner shall be empowered to—
(a) receive notices of accidents and claims for compensation;
(b) inquire into or cause inquiry to be made into accidents;
(c) determine whether any person is a worker, employer, principal or contractor for the purpose of this Act;
(d) pay compensation payable from the Fund under the provision of this Act;
(e) decide any question relating to—
(i) the right to compensation;
(ii) the submission, consideration and determination of claims for compensation
(iii) computation of earnings;
(iv) the degree of disablement of any worker;
(v) the amount and method of payment of any compensation;
(vi) the withholding, revision, discontinuance or suspension of any compensation; and
(vii) any other matter referred to the Commissioner; determine whether any person is dependent under this Act and, if so, the degree of dependence, and where there is more than one dependent, which dependent shall receive compensation and the al location of compensation among them;
(f) determine any question arising in respect of the necessity for. or the character or the sufficiency of any medical aid;
(g) determine any question relating to the rendering of statements of wages, liability for assessment, rates of assessment, amount of assessment and method of payment of assessment;
(h) after the conclusion of each financial year, report to the Board on the administration of this Act during that year;
(i) collect, compile and maintain statistics and information relating to the occurrence or cause of accidents and diseases or scheduled diseases and the grant of benefits to persons under this Act as the Commissioner may deem necessary or as may be required by the Board;
(j) investigate whether any disease should be included in, or deleted from, the Second Schedule and make recommendations to the Board in regard thereto;
(k) make any investigations and perform such other functions and duties as may have been assigned to the Commissioner or as may be deemed necessary for the administration of this Act; and
(l) determine any other question falling within the Commissioner’s purview in connection with the application of this Act or in respect of any employer or worker.
(1) The Commissioner may, in writing, authorise any competent person either generally or specially to investigate any matter falling within the Commissioner’s powers and to report to the Commissioner any such matter.
(2) Any person authorised under sub-section (1) shall have the power to inquire and take affidavits or declarations as to any matter to which the investigation or report relates, or to take any other declarations required under this Act, and in all cases to administer oaths and attest declarations.
(3) Upon the production of the written authority referred to in sub-section (1), a person authorised by the Commissioner may, with a warrant and at all reasonable times enter upon any land, works, premises or other place, and may question any employer or other person and inspect any part of the land, works, premises or other place or any books or documents which may contain information required for the purposes of the Act and take copies of extracts from such books or documents.
(4) Any person who willfully obstructs any person authorised under sub-section (1) in the lawful exercise of that person's functions under this section or who makes or subscribes to any statement, knowing it is false, or who willfully refuses to answer any question or produce any document, commits an offence.
(1) If any person in the exercise of any powers conferred or in the performance of any duties imposed by or under this Act acquires information relating to the financial affairs of any other person, firm or business, or to any manufacturing or commercial secrets or working processes that person shall not disclose such information to any other person, except—
(a) to a court of law or to any person who by law is vested with the power to compel the disclosure of such information; or
(b) to the Board or to any person acting in the execution of this Act in so far as such information may be necessary for the execution of the Act.
(2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) commits an offence.
(1) The Commissioner may, after giving notice in writing to the person concerned and giving that person an opportunity to be heard, at any time review any compensation granted on any of the following grounds:
(a) that the worker has not attended examination or has not submitted a medical report when required so to do under this Act;
(b) that the disablement which gave rise to the award is continued or aggravated by the unreasonable refusal or wilful neglect of the worker to attend medical or surgical treatment;
(c) that in the opinion of the Commissioner the degree of disablement has increased or diminished or that the worker is no longer permanently disabled;
(d) that any compensation awarded is or has become either excessive or insufficient to meet the circumstances of the case; or
(e) that the award was based on a mistake or misrepresentation of fact, or that a different award might have been made if evidence presently available but which was not avail-able when the Commissioner made the award has been produced.
(2) The Commissioner may, after giving notice in writing to any person concerned and after giving that person an opportunity to be heard, at any time review any decision, not being an award of compensation, given by the Commissioner under this Act.
(3) The Commissioner may, after making inquiry or receiving evidence as may be considered necessary, confirm the award of compensation or order the discontinuance, suspension, reduction or increase of that compensation, or, in the case of any decision referred to in sub-section (2) confirm, set aside or vary that decision.
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