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The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Janat Mukwaya has held talks with members of the Uganda Insurers Association on matters of implementation workers compensation claims due to occupational accidents and injuries. As the main agents of employers in handling the payments of workers compensation claims, the Association members were led by their Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Paul Kavuma. The Ministry technical team was represented by the Director - Labour, Employment Occupational Safety and Health Mr. Martin Wandera.
The meeting among others identified challenges on both ends in the implementation of the Workers Compensation Act, 2000. The key players in process being the Workers, Employers, Labour Officers, Medical Practitioners, Insurance Companies and Government. Each of these players have the following specific roles to play:-
a. The workers are responsible for notifying the employers about the occupational accidents/deaths or injuries;
b. Employers are responsible for reporting the accident to the labour office, in addition to treatment, burial expenses, medical assessment and compensation of the injured workers/deaths;
c. Labour officers are responsible for computations of the claims and referral of any disputes arising from assessments;
d. Medical practitioners are responsible for treatment and assessment of the injured workers;
e. Government is responsible for providing the enabling laws and environment; and
f. Insurance Companies are agents of the employers, provided for by Section 19 of the Workers Compensation Act 2000. Their primary responsibility is to pay off compensation claims.
The Minister noted that it was important this engagement was happening at a time when the Workers Compensation Act, 2000 was being reviewed for which many of the identified issues will be addressed. She underscored the need for more similar engagements. One of the key interventions agreed upon was the need for Training for Labour Officers and Medical Practitioners on the Workers Compensation Act, 2000.
Also present at the meeting was a representative from the Insurance Regulatory Authority.