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Compensation plans consist of many aspects

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CORNER with MAYBIN NKHOLOMBA
WHERE people come together to engage in a reciprocal debate about the management of society, and in our case, management of the organisation, prominence is given to public affairs, affecting the interests, feelings and concerns of members of that society or stakeholders of that organisation.
Under these circumstances, the principles and tenets of good governance, in the case of managing organisations, demand nothing less than accountability, impartiality and giving space to different views from those entrusted to act on behalf of stakeholders.
We give space to views expressed against information released to the effect that compensation is not just being about money. Some of our readers feel that the information has the potential to create a misunderstanding about the role and purpose of the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board. Our readers contend that if compensation is not about money, what else is it about?
Workers’ compensation is all about social insurance that provides wage replacement, in some jurisdictions, and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue his or her employer. The trade-off between assured, limited coverage and lack of recourse outside the worker compensation system is known as “the compensation bargain” in some countries.
While plans differ among jurisdictions, provision can be made for weekly payments in place of wages (functioning in this case as a form of disability insurance), compensation for economic loss (past and future), reimbursement or payment of medical and like expenses (functioning in this case as a form of health insurance), and benefits payable to the dependents of workers killed during employment (functioning in this case as a form of life insurance).
General damages for pain and suffering, and punitive damages for employer negligence, are generally not available in workers’ compensation plans. These laws were first enacted in Europe and Oceania, with the United States following shortly thereafter before developing countries adopted them.
There is a common belief that compensation awarded for whatever form of disability must replace in totality the income, and most expectations that our clients have normally stem from this belief in total disregard for actuarial factors such as age, income and contribution rate, among others.
The belief that when a worker is injured or contracts a disease he or she can only receive compensation in monetary terms, is not uncommon among many people. Compensation even gets confused with salary, and it is not uncommon to encounter clients who describe their compensation package as salary or even pension.
Truth holds that compensation is about giving money as relief to those who contract diseases or injuries at work, but to this we must add other benefits that define a compensation plan.  Post-accident counselling services that are rendered to victims or survivors who suffer traumatic experiences is just one example as is rehabilitation of victims.
Maybe we must say we go beyond the traditional boundaries of paying monthly and lump sum payments for employment related injuries and diseases to include other services rendered to disabled persons for the purpose of facilitating their return to productive lives. To achieve this great cause, we have entered into partnerships with health and education institutions.
We first endeavour to return injured workers to good health by working with government hospitals and private ones such as Beit Cure and the Italian Hospital in assessing disabilities suffered for determination of compensation; providing assistive medical devices such as artificial limbs, surgical shoes, urinal bags and many more medical appliances and specialised medical attention to highly-disabled pensioners.
After health care, we then work with learning institutions such as the National Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, National Institute of Public Administration, Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies and the Zambian Open University to sponsor pensioners who are able to undergo training in other skills.
And the results of these partnerships have been fulfilling some of the expectations of our people especially when you consider some examples of pensioners who have after graduation from learning institutions gone ahead to set up businesses; and yes we have many  of them operating businesses.
Jethro Kasanda of Ndola who once worked for Zambia Railways Limited is a perfect example of a pensioner who has returned to pursue his education after an occupational injury.
He has successfully completed his LLB degree at the Zambian Open University and currently at Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education for his admission to the bar course.
The author is Head–Communications and Customer Services Manager at Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board
Email: compensation@workers.com.zm
Tel: 0212612128