Tema, Oct. 3, GNA – It is compulsory for employers with 15 or more employees to insure their liability under the Insurance Act, 2021 (Act 1061).
They can also insure under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1987 which indemnifies an employer against legal liability for injuries to employees resulting from accidents occurring in the course of their employment.
The Employer Liability Insurance is mandatory under the Insurance Act as well as the Workmen’s Compensation Act provides indemnity in respect of an employer’s legal liability to the employees for occupational injury or death in the course of their employment.
Mr Irwin Cofie, Deputy Head of Marketing, SIC Insurance PLC, explained that; “Every employer with employees in excess of 15 must have Employers Liability cover insofar as the employee is in the purview of work and suffers injury or death, they must be appropriately compensated”.
Mr Cofie was speaking at the Tema Office of the Ghana News Agency as part of its “End of Month Stakeholder Engagement and Workers Appreciation Day” – an initiative which creates a platform for state and non-state actors to address national issues.
The monthly engagement also serves as a motivational mechanism to recognize the editorial contribution of reporters towards national development in general and growth and promotion of the Tema GNA as the industrial news hub.
Mr Cofie said the Workmen’s Compensation Act made it compulsory for employers of labour to set aside funds to compensate any worker who may sustain injury at the workplace whether or not the Employer was to blame.
However, he expressed concern that Public Liability Insurance compliance level in the country was not good, as some public entities did not have insurance for their workers, and called on employers to adhere to the Insurance Act.
According to him, advocating for strict compliance with regards to Property Insurance and the patronage of the Workmen’s Compensation Insurance or Employers Liability, was non-negotiable as the cost implications for employers was often severe.
The SIC Deputy Head of Marketing said the National Insurance Commission, which was the regulator of insurance practice in Ghana in collaboration with the Ghana National Fire service and the Ghana Police Service were mandated as the taskforce to ensure the enforcement of the Act.
“Unfortunately, their work has not been far reaching even though some taskforce had visited a few premises without insurance and caused their closure for non-compliance, but with the coming into force of the new Act, the taskforce would be reconstituted to strictly enforce the law,” he explained.
He said the definition of a worker under the act had been expanded to include any person who receives salary or wages except an outworker, a tributary, and a family member of the employer living with the latter or where the Law prohibits as a worker.
Besides compensation for bodily injury, there was provision for payment of Medical Expenses as a result of the injury. An employer may also choose to insure his liability under the Act and in addition can extend his liability to cover claims under Common Law.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Manager, called on workers’ unions under the Ghana Trade Union Congress to ensure that employers adhere to the Insurance Act in respect to the protection of workers against occupational hazards.
“Workers Unions and Associations must check whatever insurance covers or protection under which workers operate, we must begin to holistically protect the interest of workers,” Mr Ameyibor noted.
On the essences of the GNA Tema stakeholder engagement, Mr Ameyibor explained that modern journalism practices demand a comprehensive dynamic approach to issues which affect society, through which the media must provide a platform for proactive engagement and exchange of ideas towards shaping national developmental.
Mr Ameyibor noted in that respect that the GNA-Tema operations now hinged more towards partnership and advocacy journalism, which focused on providing a platform for citizens to share key information needed to make the best possible decisions about national issues, community development, protection of society and enhance governance.
Other speakers included Mrs Cunthia Kwarten Tufuor, SIC Tema Area Manager; Ms Cynthia Twumasi, Deputy Area Manager; Mrs Doris Gorman, Tema Municipal Director of Information Service Department; Mr Richster Nii Amarh Amarfio, Secretary of the Ghana Tuna Association; and Mr Gilbert Sam, Administrator of the Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association.