While the majority of us have been locked in and shut-down during this last week, there are those who are still out there doing the necessary to provide all of the essential services which the rest of us are replying on to get through the following 2 weeks. While some of us enjoy a guilt-free extra half hour, or hour, sleep-in in the mornings, there are those who are still waking up every morning and making their way, through deserted streets, perhaps using public transport to a workplace which has a high exposure to the public where their own risk of infection is exponentially increased. What do employees who are on the list of 28 essential services need to know, for peace of mind….
The government has confirmed that under the circumstances in which we find ourselves, an employee who becomes infected by COVID-19 as a result of attending their workplace, will qualify for compensation through the Compensation Fund, in terms of the Occupational health and safety Act. Of course, there will be strict assessment made in terms of confirming that the virus was contracted at the workplace, (see the COVID-19 Exposure and Medical Questionnaire, page 9 herein) however once the Commissioner has approved an application, the employee will be compensated. As with any COID claim, the Employee must submit the paperwork and foot the medical bills for the first 3 months or until such time and the Fund compensates them for the expenses.
Employees who are sick during the lockdown period, but who get sick are not able to claim sick leave.
Schedule A: Notice on compensation for occupationally-acquired Novel Corona Virus disease lists the identified levels of risk per occupation and outlines the reporting procedure and documentation required. Claims can be submitted online, through RMA, the Compensation Fund online portal or Federated Employers Mutual, or manually, via email.
Our thoughts go to all those brave employees who are facing exposure and risk on a daily rate and to their families who remain equally at high risk though 2nd level exposure. Sanitize, disinfect surfaces, wash with soap for extended periods of time and use the relevant PPE responsibly. And if in doubt, use this questionnaire to assess yourself and stay informed.
Kwa Zulu Natal Engineering Industries Association (KZNEIA)
Cell No: 082 563 0574 | Office: 031 3351041