Workers’ Compensation Act
- Commenced on 1 July 2000
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Workers’ Compensation Act.
2. Meaning of “worker”In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, “worker” means any person who has, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, entered into, or works under, a contract of service or apprenticeship with an employer in any employment, whether the contract is expressed orally or in writing or is implied:Provided that the following persons shall be excepted from the definition of “worker”—
Part II – Eligibility for compensation in case of injury other than the contraction of a scheduled disease
4. Employer’s liability for compensation for death or incapacity due to injury other than the contraction of a scheduled disease
5. Compensation, how paid and by whomWhere an employer is liable to pay compensation under this Act to a worker or to the dependants or the personal representative of a worker, the compensation shall be paid by the Commissioner out of the Fund, on behalf of the employer, where the employer is subject to assessment under Part XI and where the employer has paid his assessment in accordance with regulations made by the Minister, on the recommendation of the Board, under this Act.
6. Workers engaged on business outside Malawi, etc.
Part III – Compensation for injury caused otherwise than by the contraction of a scheduled disease
7. Compensation in fatal cases
8. Compensation in the case of permanent total incapacity
9. Compensation in the case of permanent partial incapacity
10. Minister may prescribe maximum amount of compensation payable under this ActCompensation payable under this Act shall be subject to such maximum amounts as the Minister may, on the advice of the Board, prescribe by order published in the Gazette and the Minister may prescribe different maximum amounts of compensation relative to the earning capacity of workers.
Part IV – Calculation and distribution of compensation
11. Method of calculating earnings
12. Persons entitled to compensation
13. Distribution of compensation
Part V – Medical aid
14. Medical expenses
15. Decisions of the Board in regard to medical aid
Part VI – Compensation for injury due to the contraction of scheduled diseases
16. Compensation where incapacity or death due to a scheduled disease
17. Employer’s liability to pay compensation in case of incapacity or death due to scheduled disease
18. Special provisions relating to incapacity or death due to scheduled disease
19. Presumption as to cause of a scheduled diseaseIf a worker who becomes incapacitated or who dies as a result of any scheduled disease was, within the period prescribed in the Second Schedule preceding the incapacity or death, employed in any occupation specified in relation to that disease in the Second Schedule it shall be presumed unless or until the contrary is proved, that the disease was due to the nature of such employment.[Second Schedule]
20. Right of worker to proceed against previous employerNothing in this Part shall be construed as preventing compensation being recovered from any employer who employed the worker during the period referred to in section 16 if the employer who last employed the worker during that period proves that the disease was not contracted while the worker was employed by him, in which case section 17 (3) shall apply.
21. Minister to amend Second Schedule
22. Pre-engagement clinical test for scheduled diseasesThe Board may make rules providing for pre-engagement clinical tests in regard to scheduled diseases.
Part VII – Procedure for obtaining compensation
23. Requirements as to notice of injury and application for compensationProceedings under this Act for the recovery of compensation for an injury shall not be maintainable unless notice of the injury has been given to the Board by or on behalf of the worker as soon as practicable after it has been incurred and before the worker has voluntarily left the employment in which he was injured, and unless the application for compensation with respect to such injury has been made within twelve months from the date it was incurred or, in the case of death, within twelve months from the time of death:Provided that—
24. Employers to report injuries
25. Medical examination and treatment
26. Dependents of deceased workerWhere in any proceedings on a claim for compensation in respect of the death of a worker, the Board is satisfied that other or sufficient evidence as to the dependency on the deceased worker of a person claiming to be a dependant, or as to the degree of dependency, cannot be procured, or cannot be procured without undue hardship to the claimant or other party to the proceedings, the Board shall make reference to the rules of succession as provided for in the Wills and Inheritance Act.[Cap. 10:02]
Part VIII – Establishment of the Board
27. Establishment and composition of the Board
28. Tenure of office of the members of the Board and vacancies thereon
29. Remuneration of members of the BoardMembers of the Board shall be paid such allowances, as the Minister shall determine.
30. SecretaryThe Commissioner shall be the Secretary to the Board.
31. Meeting of the Board
32. Committees of the BoardThe Board may, as it deems appropriate, establish one or more committees to carry out any special or general functions determined by the Board and may delegate to any such committee such of the functions of the Board as it may deem expedient.
33. Functions of the Board
34. RegulationsThe Minister may, on the recommendation of the Board, make regulations for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Act and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, such regulations may make provisions for—
Part IX – Administration
35. Appointment of the Commissioner and other staffFor the administration of this Act, the Board shall, with the approval of the Minister, appoint—
36. Duties and functions of the CommissionerThe Commissioner shall, subject to this Act and to the general or special directions of the Board—
37. Powers of inspection and investigation
39. Revision of compensation by the Commissioner
40. Powers of the Commissioner in respect of witness, etc.
41. Objections by workers or employers against decisions of the Commissioner
42. Objections on behalf of dependants in case of death of a worker
43. Formal inquiry by the CommissionerAn objection lodged under the provisions of section 42 shall be considered and determined by the Commissioner in a formal inquiry in such manner as may be prescribed, and the Commissioner, with the advice of the Board, may confirm or vary any decision in respect of which the objection was lodged or give such other decision as in his opinion is equitable.
44. Appeal against a decision of the Commissioner made under section 36Any person affected by a decision of the Board, made decision under section 43 may, within twenty-one days of such decision or within such further period as the court may on good cause shown allow, appeal to the court of a Chief Resident Magistrate.
45. Suspension of obligationExcept where the Commissioner otherwise orders, no obligation to pay any assessment, compensation or other amount to the Commissioner or the Fund, or in respect of a worker by reason of a decision of the Commissioner shall be suspended or deferred by reason of the fact that an objection has been lodged against such decision under section 41 or that an appeal has been lodged under section 44; but if, as a result of any such objection or review, the amount payable by reason of the original decision is varied the person who made the payment shall be entitled to a refund or be liable to pay the additional amount, as the case may be.
46. Commissioner may state a case for High Court
47. Commissioner may submit tribunals decision to the High CourtWhenever the Commissioner has any doubt as to the correctness of any decision given by the Workers’ Compensation Tribunal on any question of law in connexion with this Act, he may submit that decision to the High Court and cause the matter to be argued before it, in order that it may determine the said question for future guidance.
49. Applications for the Commissioner s determination by interested parties
50. Enforcement of determinations of the CommissionerDeterminations or orders of the Commissioner under this Act may be enforced as if they were determinations or orders of a Chief Resident Magistrate court in civil cases, irrespective of the value involved.
51. Appeals to the High CourtSubject to the conditions set out hereunder an appeal shall lie to the High Court from any order or determination of a court under section 44:Provided that—
Part X – Appeal
52. Establishment of Workers’ Compensation Tribunal
53. Proceedings of Workers’ Compensation Tribunal
54. Appeals to the Workers’ Compensation TribunalAny person aggrieved by any decision of the Commissioner or Board made in pursuance of any power which they may exercise under this Act may appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Tribunal within thirty days of receipt by him of the notification of such decision, and such court may either confirm or reverse the decision so appealed against or may make such other order as to such court may seem just.
55. Powers of the Workers’ Compensation Tribunal
56. Appeals from the Workers’ Compensation Tribunal
Part XI – Workers’ Compensation Fund
57. Establishment of the Workers’ Compensation Fund
58. Application of the Fund
59. Holding of assets of the Fund
60. Accounts and audit
61. Liability to assessment
Part XII – General
62. Remedies against both employer and stranger
63. Proceedings independently of this ActWhere the injury was by the personal negligence or wilful act or default of the employer or of some other person for whose act or default the employer is responsible, nothing in this Act shall prevent proceedings to recover damages being instituted against the employer by civil suit independently of this Act:Provided that—
64. Provisions in case of bankruptcy of employer
65. Contracting outAny contract or agreement whether made before or after the commencement of this Act, whereby a worker relinquished any right of compensation from an employed for injury arising out of and in the course of his employment, shall be null and void in so far as it purports to remove or reduce the liability of any person to pay compensation under this Act.
66. Compensation not to be assigned, charged or attachedCompensation payable under this Act shall not be capable of being assigned, charged or attached, and shall not pass to any other person by operation of law, nor shall any claim be set off against such compensation.
67. General penaltyAny person who commits an offence under this Act for which no other penalty is prescribed shall be liable to a fine of K2,000.
68. Offences relating to records and returnsAny person required to keep a record or to make a return by virtue of any regulation made under section 34 who fails to keep such a record, to make such a return within the time which he is required to make the return or makes or causes to be made a record or return which is false in any material particular, or having been duly required so to do, fails to give any information or explanation respecting the record or return which is in his power to give shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine as stipulated in the schedule hereto and if the contravention in respect of which he was so convicted is continued after the conviction he shall be guilty of a further offence and liable in respect thereof to a fine as stipulated in the schedule hereto.
69. Other laws
70. TransitionalA claim for compensation in respect of an injury incurred before the commencement of this Act shall be dealt with under the Act repealed by section 71 as if this Act had not been enacted; but so, however, that the Commissioner shall be the court for the purpose of dealing with any such claim or with any dispute or question arising therefrom.
History of this document
31 December 2014 this version
01 July 2000
|Establishment of the Workers' Compensation Trustee Board, 2019||Government Notice 101 of 2019|