The EU-funded Zantchito Skills for Jobs Programme, together with the Ministry of Labour, are conducting a five days’ strategy development workshop for the operationalisation of the Workers Compensation Fund.
The workshop is taking place at Marville Boutique Hotel in Lilongwe from 22nd to 26th January 2024 as a precursor to the capacity building workshop for the Workers Compensation Board of Trustees earmarked to be conducted during the period 29 January to 2 February 2024.
By the end of the five days, participants are envisaged to develop a roadmap that will guide the implementation of the Malawi Workers Compensation Fund which was long overdue considering that it is provided for in the Workers Compensation Act of 2000.
Failure to operationalize workers compensation fund has been creating a plethora of social protection problems in the country for years such as failure by employers to settle workers’ compensation claims thereby impacting negatively on country’s endeavor to attain decent jobs and sustainable economic development as envisaged in Malawi 2063.
Once operationalized, there will be a transition of the workers compensation management system from the current employer liability scheme, which is heavily reliant on the capacity of the respective employer to compensate victims of work related injuries or diseases, to a social insurance kind of a scheme.
“The new system is more advantageous as compared to the old system which had a plethora of challenges ranging from employers defaulting on payments, delays in payments detrimental to the victim, and corruption, among other ills.” Said Wezi Kayira, The Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Labour, during his opening remarks.
Notably, transition to social insurance through the operationalization of the workers' compensation fund is of paramount importance for Malawi as it will bring about numerous positive and sustainable benefits that include, among others:
Creating sustainability in the management of worker compensation claims such as ensuring that victims of occupational injuries and diseases are promptly and fairly compensated.
Alleviating operational challenges of the department of workers' compensation owing to limited funding from the government, thereby enabling workers compensation department to function efficiently and more effectively.
Strengthening the synergistic relationship between Occupational Safety and Health (accident and disease prevention) and workers' compensation by unlocking resources aimed at supporting proactive preventive actions by Directorate of OSH.
Above all, the creation of the workers' compensation fund will create long-term opportunities for the provision of resources aimed at supporting the attainment of developmental milestones of Malawi 2063.