Workmen's Compensation Act, 1977
Act 13 of 1977
- Published in Government Gazette on 31 December 1977
- Assented to on 10 October 1977
- Commencement date unknown
- [This is the version of this document from 31 December 1977.]
- [This legislation was digitised using the Laws of Lesotho Volumes I – XLVII, which were produced by the Attorney General of Lesotho, as reference. As the volumes do not include precise publication dates, the last day of the year of publication has been used as the date of publication.]
1. Short title and commencementThis Act may be cited as the Workmen's Compensation Act 1977 and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may by notice appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of the Act.
Part I – Interpretation
2. Meaning of 'workman' and application of Act
3. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—"business" in the case of an administrative or public authority, includes the exercise and performance of functions of that authority;"child" means an unmarried son or daughter under the age of sixteen years of a workman, or any such unmarried son or daughter under the age of twenty one years if he/she is undergoing a full time course of study at a recognised educational institute; including an illegitimate child, a step child, an adopted child or any child of the workman or his wife who is born within ten months of the death of a workman;"compensation" means compensation as provided for by this Act;"court" means a Subordinate Court of the Resident Magistrate;"dependants" means those members of the family of a workman, including any child, who were wholly or in part dependant upon his earnings at the time of his death, or would but for the incapacity due to the accident have been so dependant and, where the workman, being the parent or grandparent of an illigitimate child, leaves such child so dependant upon his earnings, or being an illegitimate child, leaves a parent or grandparent so dependant upon his earnings, shall include such an illigitimate child or parent or grandparent respectively Provided that—(a)where the workman does not leave a widow to whom he was married at the time of his death, "dependant" shall be deemed to include any woman with whom he was living as man and wife at the time of his death;(b)a person shall not be deemed to be a partial dependant of another person unless he was dependant partially on contributions from that other person for the provision of the ordinary necessaries of life;"district" means any one of the several areas into which Lesotho has been, or may be divided for the purposes of administration;"domestic servant" means a domestic servant employed as such in a private household;"earnings" include wages and any allowance in respect of increased cost of living paid to the workman by the employer and the value of any food, fuel or quarters supplied to the workman by the employer if as a result of the accident the workman is deprived of such food, fuel or quarters; and any overtime payments or other special remuneration for work done whether by way of bonus or otherwise, if of constant character or for work habitually performed, but shall not include remuneration for intermittent overtime, or casual payments of a non-recurrent nature, any ex gratia payment, whether given by the employer or other person, or the value of a travelling allowance, or the value of any travelling concession or a contribution, paid by the employer of a workman towards any pension or provident fund, or a sum paid to a workman to cover any special expenses entailed on him by the nature of his employment;Provided that the value of such food and quarters shall not be assessed at a figure of less than seven rand per month in respect of each;"employer" includes the Government and any body of persons corporate or incorporate and the legal personal representative of a deceased employer, and, where the services of a workman are temporarily lent or let on hire to another person by the person with whom the workman has entered into a contract of service or apprenticeship, the latter shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to continue to be the employer of the workman whilst he is working for that other person; and in relation to a person employed for the purposes of any game or recreation and engaged or paid through a club, the manager, or members of the managing committee of the club shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be the employer;"industrial disease" means any disease specified in the First Schedule;"insurer" includes any insurance society, association, company or underwriter;"Labour Commissioner" means the Labour Commissioner appointed under section 4 of the Employment Act 1967 and includes any other officer authorised in writing by the Labour Commissioner to carry out the functions of the Labour Commissioner under this Act;"medical aid" means medical, surgical and hospital treatment, skilled nursing services, and the supply of medicine within Lesotho or, with the approval of the Medical Superintendent, outside Lesotho and the supply, maintenance, repair and renewal of artificial limbs, or any other artificial appliances or apparatus;"medical practitioner" means a medical practitioner registered or licensed under the provision of the Medical, Dental and Pharmacy Order 1970;"member of the family" means the wife, husband, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, stepson, stepdaughter, brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister;"Medical Superintendent" means the Medical Superintendent in the government;"outworker" means a person to whom articles or materials are given out to be made, cleaned, washed, altered, ornamented, finished or repaired, or adapted for sale in his own home or on other premises not under the control or management of the person who gave out the materials or articles;"partial incapacity" means—(a)where the incapacity is of a temporary nature, such incapacity as reduces the earning of a workman in any employment in which he was engaged at the time of the accident resulting in the incapacity; and(b)where the incapacity is of a permanent nature, such incapacity as reduces his earning capacity in any employment which he was capable of undertaking at that time:Provided that disfigurement, if of a nature to cause a loss of earning capacity, and every injury specified in the Second Schedule, (except such injury or combination of injuries in respect of which the percentage or aggregate percentage of the loss of earning capacity as specified in that Schedule against such injury or injuries amounts to one hundred per centum or more) shall be deemed to result in permanent partial incapacity;"serious and wilful misconduct" includes—(a)drunkenness;(b)a wilful contravention of any law or statutory regulation made for the purpose of ensuring the safety of or preventing accidents to workmen;(c)any other act or omission which a court of law having regard to all the circumstances of an accident, may declare to be serious and wilful misconduct;"total incapacity" means such incapacity, whether of a temporary or permanent nature, as incapacitates a workman for any employment which he was capable of undertaking at the time of the accident resulting in such incapacity:Provided that permanent total incapacity shall be deemed to result from an injury or from a combination of injuries specified in the Second Schedule where the percentage or aggregate percentage of the loss of earning capacity, as specified in that Schedule against such injury or injuries, amounts to one hundred per cent or more.
4. Application to workmen employed by the Government
Part II – Compensation for injury
5. Employer's liability for compensation for death or incapacity resulting from accident
6. Compensation in fatal casesWhere death results from the injury—
7. Compensation in case of permanent total incapacity
8. Compensation in case of permanent partial incapacity
9. Compensation in case of temporary incapacity
10. Method of calculating earnings
11. Persons entitled to compensation
12. Distribution of compensation
13. Requirements as to notice of accident and application for compensationProceedings for the recovery under this Act of compensation for an injury shall not be maintainable unless notice of the accident has been given either orally or in writing to the employer, or to any foreman or other official under whose supervision the workman is employed, by or on behalf of the workman as soon as practicable after the happening thereof and before the workman has voluntarily left the employment in which he was injured, and unless the claim for compensation with respect to such accident has been made within six months from the occurrence of the accident causing the injury or, in the case of death, within six months from the time of death:Provided that—
14. Duty of employer to report accident
15. Medical examination and treatment
16. Agreement as to compensation
17. Workman's Compensation Medical Board
18. Functions of Workmen's Compensation Medical Board
19. Determination of claims
21. Limitation on power of employer to end or decrease periodical paymentsSubject to the provisions of subsection (5) of section 9, sub-section (4) of section 15 and sub-section (4) of section 20, an employer shall not be entitled, otherwise than in pursuance of an agreement or an order of the court—
22. Jurisdiction of court
23. Power of court to submit question of lawThe court may, if it thinks fit, submit any question of law for the decision of the High Court. Such submission shall be in the form of a special case in accordance with rules made under the provisions of this Act.
25. Liability in case of workman employed by contractors
26. Liability of third parties for compensation
27. Proceedings independently of Act
28. Obligation of employer to insure
29. Procedure where workman`s earnings do not exceed a prescribed amountNotwithstanding anything contained in this Act, where the workman's earnings do not exceed such amount as may be prescribed, the following provisions shall apply and in the case of conflict or inconsistency shall prevail over any other provisions of the Act, but any such provisions as are not inconsistent shall also apply in relation to such workman—
30. Insolvency of employer
31. Contracting outAny contract or agreement, whether made before or after the commencement of this Act, whereby a workman relinquishes any right to compensation from an employer for injury arising out of and in the course of his employment, shall be null and void in so far as it purports to remove or reduce the liability of any person to pay compensation under the provisions of this Act:Provided that a workman who has obtained compensation in respect of permanent partial or permanent total incapacity may enter into a contract reducing or giving up his right to compensation under the provisions of this Act in respect of any further personal injury by accident if such contract is certified to be fair and reasonable by the Labour Commissioner.
32. Compensation not to be assigned, charged or attachedCompensation payable under the provisions of this Act shall not be capable of being assigned, charged or attached, and shall not pass to any other person by operation of law nor shall any claim be set off against such compensation.
Part III – Medical aid
33. Medical expenses
34. Power of courtThe court may, when determining any dispute in respect of compensation or upon the application of any interested person, order the payment of any of the expenses referred to in section 33 to the persons entitled to receive it, and, if those expenses exceed the amount provided in section 33(1)(a), the court may apportion the amount available in such manner as it may deem expedient.
35. Fees for medical aid to be prescribedThe fees and charges for medical aid to workmen within Lesotho shall be in accordance with such scale as may be prescribed and no claim for an amount in excess of a fee or charge in accordance with that scale shall lie against any workman or his employer in respect of any such medical aid.
36. Employer not to receive contribution from workmanNo employer shall receive from a workman any contribution towards the expense of medical aid rendered or to be rendered to such workman in terms of this Part and any employer acting in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred rand and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months. In addition such employer shall be ordered by the court to refund to the workman any sums so received.
Part IV – Industrial diseases
37. Compensation for industrial diseases
38. Employer's liability for compensation
39. Fixing date from which compensation payable
40. Determination of cause of diseaseIf the workman at or immediately before the date of the certificate or of his death, as the case may be, was employed in any work mentioned in the First Schedule to this Act, and the disease contracted is the disease set opposite the description of the work in that Schedule, the disease, unless the certifying medical practitioner certifies that in his opinion it was not due to the nature of the work, shall be deemed to have been due to the nature of that work, unless the employer from whom compensation is claimed proves the contrary.
41. Liability of previous employerNothing in this Act contained shall be construed as preventing compensation being recovered from any employer who employed the workman during the twenty four months referred to in section 37, if the employer who last employed the workman during that period is able to establish that the disease was not contracted while the workman was in his employment, in which case the provisions of section 38 shall apply.
42. Disease resulting from accidentNothing in this Act contained shall affect the rights of a work-man to recover compensation under this Act in respect of a disease, other than an industrial disease, if the disease is the result of an accident to such workman.
43. Special provisions as to pneumoconiosis
Part V – General
44. RegulationsThe Minister may make regulations to give effect to the purposes and provisions of this Act and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power he may make regulations—
46. Rules of courtThe Chief Justice may make rules of court for regulating proceedings before the court under the provisions of this Act and for the fees payable in respect thereof.
47. RepealThe Workmen's Compensation Proclamation, 1948, is repealed.
History of this document
31 December 1977 this version
Published in Government Gazette number None
10 October 1977