Compensation for Loss Suffered Physical or Mentally

Until the early part of the 20th century, workers had little recourse in the event that they were to become the victim of a workplace accident. But the new processes and machines that were incorporated into many jobs with the spread of industrialization created a sufficient increase in the level of occupational danger to warrant the attention of legislators. In response to the growing problem, laws were enacted to grant workers access to financial benefits that their employers would be obligated to provide, free of any considerations about liability. In some ways, it was a tremendous victory, and in others it was less so.

Workers' Compensation in various countries

Workers' compensation replaces income that is lost because of a job-related injury or illness. Disability insurance covers income lost due to injuries and illnesses that are not job related. Five states -- California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island -- require that employees be covered by disability insurance through state-run programs or by private or self-insurance coverage.

The Workmen's Compensation Act in India Workmen's Compensation Act 1932 >>

The Workmen's Compensation Act defines the rights of both employers and workers regarding compensation for injuries or accidents. The legislation is just one of India's laws regulating employees' social security.

Purpose - The purpose of India's Workmen's Compensation Act is to ensure that employers provide monetary compensation for workmen who are injured on the job or develop an illness as a result of that job.

History - The Act was passed in 1923 and took effect in July 1924. The Indian government amended the legislation in 2000 to change the monetary amounts listed in the Act. India's Ministry of Labour and Employment enforces this law.

Exceptions - There are certain cases in which Indian employers are not required to provide compensation to ill or injured workers. According to the legislation, employees who disobey orders, do not use provided safety devices or who work under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not permitted to receive compensation. In addition, employers do not have to pay compensation to workers who are injured for three days or less.


Workers' compensation replaces income that is lost because of a job-related injury or illness. Disability insurance covers income lost due to injuries and illnesses that are not job related. Five states -- California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island -- require that employees be covered by disability insurance through state-run programs or by private or self-insurance coverage. The Employees' Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB) was created in 1946 by statute to hear appeals taken from determinations and awards under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act with respect to claims of federal employees injured in the course of their employment. The Board has final authority to determine the liability of the Federal government with respect to the disability or death of employees injured in the scope of their employment. There is no further administrative or judicial appeal of ECAB decisions. The Board, by statute, consists of three Members appointed by the United States Secretary of Labor, one of whom is designated as Chairman of the Board and administrative manager

The Board's mission is to hear and decide cases on appeal from decisions of the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) in an impartial and expeditious manner. The decisions of the Board are made in accordance with its statutory mandate, based on a thorough review of the case record as compiled by OWCP. Injured federal workers have the opportunity for a full evidentiary hearing with OWCP's Branch of Hearings and Review prior to review of the record by the Board.

Facts [+]

The Employment Standards Administration (ESA) is the largest agency within the U.S. Department of Labor. The ESA enforces and administers a wide array of employment and labor laws, such as wages and working conditions, child labor, overtime and family and medical leave, equal employment opportunity, workers' compensation, labor unions, and employment standards and practices.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most dangerous jobs in America are: timber cutters, fishers, pilots and navigators, structural metal workers, drivers-sales workers, roofers, electrical power installers, farm occupations, construction laborers, and truck drivers.

Every legal worker in the U.S. is entitled by federal law to three basic benefits. Workers' compensation provides insurance for work-related injuries or death. Social security provides retirement income and disability coverage for workers and their dependents. Unemployment insurance provides payments for a period of time presumably long enough to allow workers to find new jobs.

Statutory compensation in Australia

As Australia experienced a relatively influential labour movement in the late 19th and early 20th century, statutory compensation was implemented very early in Australia.

South Australia

In South Australia legislation was enacted in 1986 called the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act. The WorkCover Corporation of South Australia WorkCover SA has the responsibility for administering the Act.

New South Wales

In NSW, workers compensation is governed by the Worker's Compensation Act 1987. WorkCover NSW is a statutory authority within the portfolio of the Minister for Finance. Its primary objective is to work in partnership with the NSW community to achieve safe workplaces, effective return to work and security for injured workers.

Queensland [QLD]

In QLD, workers compensation is governed by the Worker's Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003. WorkCover Queensland is the main provider of workers’ compensation insurance to Queensland employers since its formation in 1997. WorkCover Queensland Laws.


Workers Compensation is managed in Victoria by WorkSafe Victoria" which has the role of managing Victoria's workplace safety system. The responsibilities broadly are help employees avoid workplace injuries occurring, enforcement of Victoria's occupational health and safety laws, provision of reasonably priced workplace injury insurance for employers, assisting injured workers back into the workforce and managing the workers' compensation scheme by ensuring the prompt delivery of appropriate services and adopting prudent financial practices.

Australian Capital Territory

In ACT, workers compensation is governed by the Workers Compensation Regulation 2002 made under the Workers Compensation Act 1951. WorkSafe ACT was created on 3 May 2010 to replace ACT Workcover. WorkSafe ACT’s enforces ACT's health and safety and workers’ compensation laws. ACT's Workers Compensation Regulation

Western Australia

In WA, workers compensation is governed by the Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981. WorkCover WA is the government agency responsible for overseeing the workers' compensation and injury management system in Western Australia. Workers' Compensation Laws in Western Australia.

Northern Territory

In NT, workers compensation is governed by the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011. Worksafe is the administrative and regulatory arm of Northern Territory’s Work Health Authority. Northern Territory Worksafe - Workplace Health and Safety Act


Tasmania's Workers Compensation system is managed by WorkCover Tasmania which takes its role seriously in Workers Compensation. It monitors and ensures safety and prevention including producing publications, education seminars, assists businesses with an advisory service, oversees the accreditation of medical practitioners, ensures that employees are insured and licensed and also promotes special events.

Workers' compensation in Brazil

Welfare (called Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social - INSS) is the social insurance for those who contribute. It is a public institution that aims to recognize and grant rights to its policyholders. The amount transferred by Welfare is used to replace the income of the worker taxpayer, when he loses the ability to work, by sickness, disability, age, death, involuntary unemployment, or even maternity and imprisonment. During the first 15 days worker’s salary is paid by his employers and after that by Welfare, while inability to work lasts. It is up to 75% of the workers’ wages.

The Brazilian Welfare went through several conceptual and structural changes, involving the degree of coverage, the list of benefits and how the system is financed. If one cannot work, his employer pays for the first 15 days and the Welfare pays from the 16th day on, while he is unable to work. On the other hand, if workers intend to receive compensation from their former employer, there is a time limit for filling a claim (2 years), which must be legally supported. Workers’ compensation laws are the same in the whole country and tend to be protective.

Statutory workers' compensation in Canada

Workers' compensation was Canada's first social program to be introduced as it was favoured by both workers' groups and employers hoping to avoid lawsuits. The system arose after an inquiry by Ontario Chief Justice William Meredith who outlined a system that workers should be compensated for workplace injuries, but that they must give up their right to sue their employers. It was introduced in the various provinces at different dates. Ontario was first in 1915, Manitoba in 1916, British Columbia in 1917. It remains a provincial responsibility and thus the exact rules vary from province to province. In some provinces, such as Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, the programme also had a preventative role ensuring workplace safety. In British Columbia, the occupational health and safety mandate (including the powers to make regulation, inspect and assess administrative penalties)is legislatively assigned to the Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia WorkSafe BC. In most provinces the workers' compensation board or commission remains solely concerned with insurance. The workers' compensation insurance system in every province is funded by employers based on their payroll, industry sector and history of injuries (or lack thereof) in their workplace (usually referred to as "experience rating").

Worker's compensation in Germany

Main article: Worker's compensation Germany

The German worker's compensation law of 6 July 1884 — initiated by Prince Otto von Bismarck, passed only after three attempts — was the first of its kind in the world. Similar laws passed in Austria in 1887, Norway in 1894, and Finland in 1895.

The Sickness Insurance law paid indemnity to all private wage earners and apprentices, including those who work in the agricultural and horticultural sectors and marine industries, family helpers and students with work-related injuries, for up to 13 weeks. Workers who are totally disabled get continued benefits at 67% after this 13-week period - paid by the accident funds, financed entirely by employers.

The German compensation system has been taken as a model for many nations.

Workers' compensation in the United Kingdom

There is no comparable workers compensation scheme in the UK. An employee can pay for permanent health insurance or private medical plans but the UK government does not recognise the need for a rigid insurance scheme of the sort prevalent across the USA and a number of other countries. Work related safety issues in the UK are controlled by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) who provide the framework by which employers and employees are able to comply with statutory rules and regulations.

With the exception of the following all employers are obliged to purchase compulsory Employers Liability Insurance in accordance with the Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act of 1969. The current minimum Limit of Indemnity required is £5,000,000 per occurrence. Market practice is to usually provide a minimum £10,000,000 with inner limits to £5,000,000 for certain risks e.g. workers on oil rigs and acts of terrorism.

Employers who do not require Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance are:

    • local authorities (other than Parish Councils)

    • joint boards or committees whose members include members of local authorities

    • police authorities

    • nationalised industries or their subsidiaries

    • certain bodies which are financed out of public funds

    • employers of crews on offshore installations, ships or hovercraft, if they are covered instead with a mutual insurance association of ship owners or ship owners and others

    • a health service body or NHS Trust

"Employees" are defined as anyone who has entered into or works under a contract of service or apprenticeship with an employer. The contract may be for manual labour, clerical work or otherwise, it may be written or verbal and it may be for full time or part time work.

Persons who are not classed as employees and, therefore, are exempt are:-

    • persons who are not employees (for example independent contractors who are not the employees of the person engaging them)

    • people employed in any activity which is not a business (e.g. domestic servants)

    • people who are related to the employer - husband, wife, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, stepson, stepdaughter, brother sister, half-brother or half-sister

    • people who are not normally resident in the United Kingdom and who are working here for fewer than 14 consecutive days.

Employees need to establish that their employer has a legal liability to pay compensation. This will principally be a breach of a statutory duty or under the tort of negligence. In the event that the employer is insolvent or no longer in existence Compensation can be sought directly from the insurer under the terms of the Third Party Rights Against Insurers Act of 1930.