Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923

Get the latest information about latest amendments in the Workmen Compensation Act, of 1923

It is rightly said that the success or performance of any organization or company depends on the employees or workforce. To sustain in the long run, an organization has to implement certain steps for employee welfare. In factories or organizations, employees deal with various machinery and equipment and there are chances that fatal accidents may arise. To ensure that the employees who face any kind of loss due to these accidents, the government made various acts and laws for employee welfare. The organizations must adhere to these laws and regulations. One of such acts was the 1884 Compensation Act and Fatal Act of 1885. These acts were not able to compensate the employees at the workplace. So a law was needed to compensate the employees fairly in case of any fatal accidents or mishaps at the workplace. Thus the government of India passed the Workmen Compensation Act in 1923.

Objective of Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923

The Workmen Compensation Act was passed in 1923 with the major objective of providing financial compensation or assistance to employees when they meet with any accident or mishap at the workplace. Earlier, the employees had to approach the court to seek compensation from their employer to recover the damage that occurred. This act simplified all these kinds of complexities. This act applies to employees whether permanent/ temporary or contractual. This act came into effect when an employee met with an accident, permanent disability or death at the workplace.  

The following people are liable for protection under this law:

  • Individuals who are working as a captain or crew member at an aircraft
  • Those employees who are working in Indian Railways but are not related to any kind of district/zonal or state offices
  • People who work in factories, industries, construction sites or docks as per the Schedule || of the Workmen Compensation Act
  • Helpers, mechanics, drivers or individuals associated working with vehicles
  • Indian laborers who are employed abroad as per the Schedule || of this act

Applicability of Workmen Compensation Act

This law applies to all Indian States except Jammu and Kashmir. Moreover, this act does not apply to those states who are covered under the Employees State Insurance Act, of 1948.

Updates/ Changes in the Workmen's Compensation Act

There were some major changes/ updates that occurred in the Workmen’s Compensation Act, of 1923. These changes were good news as well as big updates for the workers. Following are the changes/ updates:

  • The amount of wages on which compensation was calculated was officially changed from Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 as per the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  • In 2010, the name of the Workmen’s Compensation Act was officially changed to the Employee’s Compensation Act

Employees/ workers are entitled to compensation only if they face any accident/ injury/permanent disability. If they die, the amount of compensation is paid to their family member.

Circumstances under which no compensation is provided

Following are the circumstances under which the employer is not liable to pay any kind of compensation to the employee:

  • If an employee didn’t follow safeguards or safety norms during their work at machinery/equipment
  • If the employee faces injury/ disablement for less than a total of three days. In this case, the employee can provide some paid leave but it is not mandated by law
  • For accidents or any damage caused due to intake of alcohol/drugs or any other kind of harmful product

How is the compensation amount to be paid calculated?

The amount of compensation to be paid depends on the damage that occurred to the employee and the provisions of the Workmen Compensation Act, of 1923:

1. In the case of Temporary Disability

If the employees face temporary disability at the workplace they are liable for compensation from their employer. This compensation amount is up to 25% of an employee’s monthly salary.

2. In the case of Permanent Partial Disability

Those injuries that fall under permanent partial disability stated in Schedule | of the act are liable for this compensation. This compensation is a certain percentage or part of the compensation that an employee loses due to the disability.

3. In the case of Permanent Total Disability

If an employee faces permanent total disability in an accident or mishap at the workplace, then the employers are liable to pay the compensation amount of 60% of the employee’s gross salary or an amount of Rs 1,20,000 whichever may be higher.

4. In the case of death of an employee

When an employee dies at the workplace due to an accident/ mishap then the employers are liable to pay 50% of the gross salary of the employee or an amount of Rs 1,20,000 whichever is higher as compensation to their family members.

It is necessary to remember that those individuals who are covered under the Employee State Insurance Scheme of India cannot get any benefits stated above under the Workmen Compensation Act, 1923.

Wrapping up

It is necessary to provide compensation to the deceased employees if they face any mishap or accident at the workplace. The compensation to be paid to an employee is covered under the updated Employees Compensation Act. This act ensures that employees are paid compensation fairly in case of temporary or permanent disability, accidents or death. Moreover, this act was passed to comfort the employees from unnecessary court cases or proceedings.     

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

The Workmen Compensation Act 1923 aims to provide financial compensation to employees in case they meet with an unfortunate accident while performing their duties. All employees working full-time, part-time, temporarily or casually are liable to receive financial protection under this law.

In 2020, The Central Government revised the amount of the monthly wages, which are considered for compensation, from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 15,000.

According to the Section 10(1) where an accident occurs on the premises of an employer and results in the death of a workman or serious bodily injury to him, the employer shall, within seven days of the death or serious bodily injury, send a report to the Commissioner giving the circumstances attending the death or serious bodily injury.

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