Workmen Compensation Act 1923
To provide for the payment of compensation to the workmen for injury or accident.
This Act is one of the earliest Acts having come into force from 1st July, 1924. It extends to whole of India.
The salient features the Act in brief are as under.
Employer’s Liability for Compensation
(i) A workman is entitled to get compensation from his employer if he is injured while on duty and during the course of his employment with his employer.
(ii) If a workman dies due to the accident while of duty and during the course of his employment with his employer, his dependents are entitled to receive the amount of compensation from his employer.
(iii) Occupational diseases: If a workman contacts occupational diseases enlisted in Schedule III of this Act, while on duty and during the course of his employment with his employer, the said disease shall be deemed to be an injury by accident. The workman or if dead, his dependents are entitled to receive the amount of compensation from his employer.
(iv) Amount of Compensation
(a) Temporary Disablement
Where the disablement is temporary i.e. workman not being able to attend to duty for more than 3 days on account of injury is entitle to get compensation at the rate of a half monthly payment of the sum equivalent to twenty five percent of monthly wages of the workman. E.G. if workman’s wages are Rs.500/- per month he will receive Rs.125/- for a fortnight i.e. 15 days or Rs. 8.33 p. per day and so on depending on his wages. If the disablement continues for more than 28 days therefrom days to be counted from the date of injury.
(b) Permanent total disablement
The permanent total disablement is listed in Schedule I of the Act. Where the disablement is permanent and total the amount of compensation will be equivalent of fifty percent of the monthly wages of the injured workman multiplied by the relevant factor or an amount of twenty four thousand rupees
(Rs. 24,000/-) whichever is more.
Where death results from an injury an amount equal to forty percent of the monthly wages of the deceased workman multiplied by the relevant factor or an amount of twenty thousand rupees
(Rs. 20,000/-) whichever is more.
- For purpose of sub clause (2) & (3) above ‘relevant factor’ in relation to workman mean the factor specified in schedule IV of the Act against the age of the workman.
- Where the monthly wages of a workman exceed Rs.1,000/- his monthly wages for the purpose of clause (2) & (3) shall be deemed to be Rs. 1,000/- only.
(e) If Permanent partial disablement results from the injury: such percentage of the
compensation which would have been payable in the case of permanent total disablement after determining the loss of earning capacity caused by that injury
Recovery of Compensation
1. If the employer fails to pay the compensation to a workman of fails to deposit the amount of compensation with the commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation, or the Labour Court concerned, them the injured workman, either himself or through his representative, should send a notice of his claim or his employer mentioning therein the time, date, place and nature of accident, wage rate of the workman and the amount of compensation. In case of death of a workman , any of his dependents or his/her representative can send such notice with detailed information. A copy of the same should be sent to the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation or the Labour Court concerned.
2. If the employer fails to settle the claim, the workman himself or any of the dependents of the deceased workman should file the application before the concerned court having jurisdiction to entertain the claim. This has to be done in form ‘F’ by the injured workman and in form ‘G’ by the dependent of the daceased workman.
3. The court fee is @ Rs.1/- per every Rs. 500/- or less amount of claim and paise 50 for claim of half monthly wages for temporary disablement.
4. Amount payable under this Act cannot be assigned or charged or be liable to attachment or be passed to any person other than the workman by operation of law nor shall any claim be set-off against the same. Only the amount which is paid towards half monthly wages during the period of disablement can be deducted from the amount of final settlement of claim.
5. The Court has power to award interest on the amount of compensation, cost and penalty.
6. If the employer fails to pay or deposit the amount of compensation awarded by the Court or admitted by the employer, them on application by the workman to the concerned court for recovery of the same, the court shall write to the collector and the same will be recovered as arrears of Land Revenue.
- Where any person (referred to as the principal) in the course of or for the purpose of his trade or business, contracts with any other person (referred to as the contractor) for execution by or under the contractor of the whole or any part of any work which is ordinarily part of the trade or business of the principal, the principal shall be liable to pay to any workman employed in the execution of the work the compensation which he would have been liable to pay if that workman had been immediately employed by him. And where compensation is claimed from the principal, this Act shall apply as if references to the principal were substituted for references to the employer except that the amount of compensation shall be calculated with reference to the wages of the workman under the employer by whom he is immediately employed.
- The workman is at liberty to recover compensation either from the contractor or the principal.
Transfer of Assets
The Act specifies that compensation is the first charge on assets transferred by employer.
Limitation for Filing Claim:
The application for recovery of claim should be filed within two years from the date of accident. However, the Court has power to condone the delay in filing an application.
Commissioners under the Act are appointed by the Government. They carry certain powers relating to recording of evidence, registering of agreements etc.
Workman’s appeal against the order of the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation or by the Presiding Officer of the Labour Court concerned lies to the High Court.
Where an employer makes an appeal, the Commissioner may and if so desired by the High Court, shall, pending the decision of the appeal, withhold payment of any sum in deposit with him.
The Commissioner may recover as arrears of land revenue, any amount payable by any person under this Act, whether under an agreement for the payment of compensation or otherwise, and the Commissioner shall be deemed to be a public officer within the meaning of the Revenue Recovery Act, 1980.
List of injuries deemed to result in Permanent Total disablement.
List of persons who subject to the provisions of section 2(1) (h), are included in the definition of ‘ workman ‘.
List of occupational diseases.
Amount of compensation payable in certain cases.
Factors for working out lump sum equivalent of compensation amount in case of permanent disablement and death.