Now that the President has signed the amendment of COIDA into law, it is imperative for employers of domestic workers to register their employees under COIDA.

This means that they may now claim for injuries, disabilities or illness acquired whilst at work, which previously specifically excluded this sector.

This also means that all employers of domestic workers (including gardeners, chauffeurs, housekeepers, carers) whether part-time or full-time – must register themselves and their
employees with the Compensation Commissioner.

What sort of protection does this cover offer domestic workers?

In the event that they fall ill or suffer an injury as a direct result of their employment, they will be able to claim compensation for temporary or permanent disability, assistance with medical bills, orthotic or assistive devices and rehabilitation services.

In the event of their death, their dependants can claim compensation from the fund for funeral expenses and ongoing support in the form of a widow/widower’s pension or lump sum, a child pension or additional dependency award to cover parents, siblings and other family members who may have been dependent on the employee.

· In the case of recruitment of new employees, you are required to do so within 7 days of signing an employment contract with a new employee.

· For existing employees, employers are being strongly encouraged to register as soon as possible. It seems likely that penalties for non-registration will be implemented after the date that will be promulgated through regulations in the coming months.

· If an employer fails to register by the deadline (once it is gazetted), that employer shall be liable for substantial penalties and possible claims in the event his or her employee is injured, is disabled or sustains an illness at work.

Bernard Reisner
Cape Labour Industrial Consultants

W.Tel no.: 021 423 3959
082 433 8714
021 4232 105