Workers’ compensation is a workers compensation fund of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue their employer for the tort of negligence. The trade-off between assured, limited coverage and lack of recourse outside the worker compensation system is known as “the compensation bargain”. General damage for pain and suffering, and punitive damages for employer negligence, are generally not available in workers’ compensation plans, and negligence is generally not an issue in the case.
These laws were first enacted in Europe and Oceania, with the United States following shortly thereafter. The Fellow Servant Doctrine is that employer can be held harmless to the extent that injury was caused in whole or in part by a peer of the injured worker. Contributory negligence allows an employer to be held harmless to the extent that the injured employee failed to use adequate precautions required by ordinary prudence. Assumption of risk allows an employer to be held harmless to the extent the injured employee voluntarily accepted the risks associated with the work. The laws also provide benefits for dependents of those workers who are killed in work-related accidents or illnesses. Some laws also protect employers and fellow workers by limiting the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer and by eliminating the liability of co-workers in most accidents.
US state statutes establish this framework for most employment. As Australia experienced a relatively influential labour movement in the late 19th and early 20th century, statutory compensation was implemented very early in Australia. Each territory has its own legislation and its own governing body. A typical example is Work Safe Victoria, which manages Victoria’s workplace safety system.
It is a public institution that aims to recognize and grant rights to its policyholders. Workers’ compensation was Canada’s first social program to be introduced as it was favored by both workers’ groups and employers hoping to avoid lawsuits. The system arose after an inquiry by Ontario Chief Justice William Meredith who outlined a system in which workers were to be compensated for workplace injuries, but must give up their right to sue their employers. The German worker’s compensation law of 6 July 1884, initiated by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, was passed only after three attempts and was the first of its kind in the world. The law paid indemnity to all private wage earners and apprentices, including those who work in the agricultural and horticultural sectors and marine industries, family helpers and students with work-related injuries, for up to 13 weeks. Workers who are totally disabled get continued benefits at 67 percent after 13 weeks, paid by the accident funds, financed entirely by employers.
The German compensation system has been taken as a model for many nations. The Indian worker’s compensation law 1923 was introduced on 5 March 1923. It includes Employer’s liability compensation, amount of compensation. Workers’ accident compensation insurance is paired with unemployment insurance and referred to collectively as labour insurance.
The Workmen’s Compensation Act 1952 is modelled on the United Kingdom’s Workmen’s Compensation Act 1906. Adopted before Malaysia’s independence from the UK, it is now used only by non-Malaysian workers, since citizens are covered by the national social security scheme. The Mexican Constitution of 1917 defined the obligation of employers to pay for illnesses or accidents related to the workplace. This section needs additional citations for verification. Great Britain followed the German model. Joseph Chamberlain, leader of the Liberal Unionist party and coalition with the Conservatives, designed a plan that was enacted under the Salisbury government in 1897.
Workmen’s Compensation Act 1897 was a key domestic achievement. Employees” are defined as anyone who has entered into or works under a contract of service or apprenticeship with an employer. The contract may be for manual labour, clerical work or otherwise, it may be written or verbal and it may be for full-time or part-time work. United Kingdom and who are working there for fewer than 14 consecutive days. Employees need to establish that their employer has a legal liability to pay compensation. This will principally be a breach of a statutory duty or under the tort of negligence. For the history of worker’s compensation in the UK, see Workmen’s Compensation Act 1897 and following.