WCFCB prepares to cover domestic workers in Zambia
In an effort to cover the informal sector in Zambia, Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) has embarked on a programme to extend social protection to the informal economy and domestic workers will be given priority this year.
Domestic workers are part of the subgroup of the larger informal economy and in the context of the extension of coverage for social protection and specifically for the employment injury branch, this group is unique and the current Workers’ Compensation Act No.10 of 1999 has made provisions for its coverage as found in Section 115 (2) albeit missing regulations.
The Workers’ Compensation Act No. 10 of 1999 does not discriminate between different types of business classes or category of workers when it comes to dispensing compensation. All the disabled workers provided their disablements are ascertained at more than nil% level of disablement are subjected to the same benefit structure. The only difference comes in between those disabled workers who are assessed at either below 10% and those who are assessed at more than 10%, with the later having access to a full range of both cash and non-cash benefits because of their status as life pensioners. However, no discrimination is made based on the type of worker one is.
By definition, a domestic worker is someone employed and paid by a single person or a couple in a domestic partnership within their private household. Domestic workers face a number of occupational hazards which require social protection and may include burns sustained in the process of performing house chores such as cooking, human animal conflicts between pets and domestic workers and even exposure to electrical and other forms of appliances in home surroundings which might cause accidents.
The workers compensation policy will protect both the employer and domestic worker should a work-related illness or injury occur. It must be explained that the workers’ compensation insurance rider of a homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover any domestic employees for workers’ compensation benefits, nor does it cover people working for home-based businesses.