Columnists Features

Workers’ Compensation refunds employer

IN its relentless efforts to become one of Zambia’s Top 10 best performing public institutions, the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) is living up to its name.
It does not only focus on the welfare of its pensioners, but also focuses on employers’ benefits.
There are some fringe benefits that come with being compliant with Zambia’s oldest but evolving social security scheme. One of which is medical refunds made through the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act number 10 of 1999 section 101 (1), which deals with medical expenses incurred by a worker as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment.
Recently, the board processed a total of K100,208.50 as medical refund to Mama Africa Enterprises Limited, a Kitwe-based company.
The medical refund was as a result of the company’s three employees who were injured in the course of duty recently.
WCFCB commissioner and chief executive officer Elizabeth Lungu-Nkumbula said her institution was pleased to make medical refunds to compliant employers.
“It is the board’s obligation to provide medical refunds to employers on all expenses incurred as a result of hospitalisation and treatment of their employee. Of course, that is only possible if the employer is compliant with WCFCB,” she said.
Contribution to the board is entirely the employer’s liability based on the declared earnings of their employees, assessed risks of the work place, cost of compensation payable and requirements of the Fund. Contribution rates, known as assessments, are derived from workers’ earnings from enterprises.
“As a board, we are happy that Mama Africa Enterprises have been compliant, which is why we have made medical refund,” Dr Lungu-Nkumbula said.
Mama Africa Enterprises Limited representative Pius Mulenga praised WCFCB for having a practical and functioning social security system.
“We are happy that your organisation [WCFCB] has been able to relieve us of our pressure. We spent a lot on the medical bills but you have refunded all our expenses,” he said.
The medical refunds to Mama Africa Enterprises were processed as follows:
He was employed as a tyre fitter. On November 20, 2013 at 23:00 hours, he was involved in a road traffic accident. This left him with cuts on the forehead, fractured left leg and bruises on the left hand.
Mr Kabange was employed as an acid driver. On September 6, 2014 around 09:00 hours, he was involved in a road traffic accident when the acid tanker he was driving lost control on a slippery manure splashed road surface. He is highly completely disabled.
The board assessed him at 100 percent disability and is in receipt of constant attendance allowance, which is an allowance paid to caregivers of beneficiaries who cannot carry out the normal function of everyday life.
In addition, the board evacuates him to Beit Cure Hospital where he frequently attends medical attention and care.
He was employed as a driver. Like Mr Kabange, he was involved in a road traffic accident on February 18, 2014 at about 11:00 hours along the Mufulira-Kitwe road. He sustained a fractured left arm and was assessed at 17 percent disability.
Ultimately, WCFCB provides medical refunds to employers on all expenses incurred as a result of hospitalisation and treatment of workers disabled by occupational accidents and diseases at public and private health institutions.
Upon presentation of receipts of medical expenses incurred on treatment of workers at local health institutions, including foreign institutions where the commissioner granted prior approval before evacuation, a full refund is granted.
Mama Africa Enterprises Limited is just an example of the board’s commitment to make medical refunds to compliant employers.
The author is a communications officer at Workers Compensation Fund Control Board.

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