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Domestic workers now able to claim for injuries sustained at work

The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that domestic workers were eligible to claim from the Compensation Fund if they were injured, contracted a disease at their place of work.

FILE: A domestic worker. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that domestic workers were eligible to claim from the Compensation Fund if they were injured or contracted a disease at their place of work.

If the domestic worker dies while on duty, the family would then be allowed to claim.

Silvia Mahlangu's mother drowned in her employer's swimming pool and she was denied compensation because domestic workers were not included in the Compensation of Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.

Compensation Commissioner at the Department of Labour Vuyo Mafata said: “The department took a step in 2002 when it included the domestic workers in the unemployment insurance fund. The next step was to incorporate those domestic workers within the Compensation of Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, which is something the minister commenced around 2011.”

Mafata said the current legislation we have in the country was last developed in 2003.

He said the ruling required them to fast track the process of including domestic workers in the act.

The Department of Labour would have to establish the conditions in which a domestic worker was eligible to benefit from the compensation fund.

But first, the amendment to the Compensation of Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act would have to appear before Parliament and once the bill was passed, the process would be taken forward.

Listen to the audio for more.