Workmen’s Compensation Act repealed

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum leaves during a break in Parliament yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

THE Workmen’s Compensation Act 1964 was ssuccessfully repealed in Parliament yesterday.

This allows for the facilitation of a comprehensive transition to the no fault compensation scheme, under the Accident Compensation Bill 2017 for work-related accidents.

With the enactment of the Bill to repeal the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1964, it gives the Accident Compensation Commission Fiji the reach to cover schoolyard injuries or classroom injuries for families who can benefit from the no fault scheme. The Accident Compensation Bill 2017 will allow for the extension of the no fault compensation scheme to accidents occurring on school premises.

He said the process and procedures outlined in the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1964 were lengthy and timely, with some cases taking as long as six years before a decision or compensation was finally reached.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said this time-consuming process led to justice being denied to accident victims and also placed limitations on injured persons in applying for compensation.

“Injured parties under the Act are not entitled to compensation unless they are unable to attend work for three or more days after the accident, therefore injuries that may have manifested slightly at a delayed stage often are reasonably excluded,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the vision of Government when tabling the Accident Compensation Bill 2017 in Parliament was to extend it to provide for other forms of compensatiom on a no fault basis.