WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION ACT, 1987 (P.N.D.C.L. 187)

WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION ACT, 1987 (P.N.D.C.L. 187)

DATE OF ISSUE: 12th August, 1987.

DATE OF GAZETTE NOTIFICATION: 21st August, 1987.

AN ACT to provide for the payment of compensation to employees and for related matters.

1. Application to employees employed by the Republic

This Act applies to employees employed by the Republic as well as private persons, except in the case of persons in the Armed Forces.

2. Employer’s liability for compensation

(1)  Where  an  employee  sustains  personal  injury  by  accident  arising  out  of,  and  in  the  course of employment, the employer is liable, subject to this Act, to pay compensation in accordance with this Act.

(2)  An  injured  employee  shall  not  suffer  a  diminution  in  earnings  while  the  employee  undergoes treatment for injuries sustained through an accident arising out of, and in the course of, employment.

(3)  Where an attending medical officer assesses an incapacity in respect of an injured employee, the employer shall pay the injured employee compensation commensurate with the incapacity so assessed.

(4)  Subject to sections 3 and 4, where the injury results in death or serious and permanent incapacity, the Court on consideration of the circumstances, may award the appropriate compensation under this Act.

(5)  The employer is not liable to pay compensation in respect of an injury to an employee resulting from an accident which is attributable to the employee having been under the influence of drink or drugs at the time of the accident.

(6)  For the purposes of this Act, an accident resulting in the death or serious and permanent incapacity of an employee arises out of and in the course of employment,

(a) although the employee was at the time when the accident happened acting in contravention of a statutory or any other regulation applicable to the employment, or was acting without instructions from the employer;

(b) if  the  act  was  done  by  the  employee  for  the  purposes  of  and  in  connection  with  the employer’s trade or business.

(7)  Compensation is not payable under this Act in respect of incapacity or a death resulting from a deliberate self-injury.

(8)  Compensation is not payable under this Act in respect of an incapacity or a death resulting from personal injury, if the employee has at any time represented to the employer that the employee was not suffering or had not previously suffered from that or similar injury, knowing that the representation was false.

3. Compensation in fatal cases

(1)  Where death results from the injury,

(a) if  the  employee  leaves  dependants,  the  amount  of  compensation  shall  be  a  sum  of  money equal to sixty months earnings; but where in respect of the same accident compensation has been paid under  section 5, 6 or  7, there shall be deducted from the sum payable under this paragraph the sums so paid as compensation;

(b) whether the employee had dependants or not, the employer shall pay the medical expenses;

(c)  if the employee did not leave dependants, the employer shall bear the expenses of the burial as required by custom;

(d) if the employee left dependants, the employer shall bear the expenses of the burial to the sum of five million cedis or as stipulated in the relevant Collective Agreement, whichever is the higher.

(2)  Where an employee survives an injury, whether the employee has dependants or not, the employer shall pay the medical expenses in respect of the injury.

4. Employer to pay medical expenses

In an injury under this Act, the employer shall pay the medical expenses in respect of the injury.

5. Compensation for permanent total incapacity

Where permanent total incapacity results from the injury, the amount of compensation shall be a sum of money equal to ninety-six months’ earnings.

6. Compensation for permanent partial incapacity

(1)   Where permanent partial incapacity results from the injury the amount of compensation shall be,

(a) in the case of an injury specified in the  Third Schedule, a percentage of the compensation which  would  have  been  payable  in  the  case  of  permanent  total  incapacity  specified  in  the Third Schedule as being the percentage of the loss of earning capacity caused by that injury; and

(b) in the case of an injury not specified in the Third Schedule, a percentage of the compensation which would have been payable in the case of permanent total incapacity and proportionate to the loss of earning capacity permanently caused by the injury.

(2)  Where  more  injuries  than  one  are  caused  by  the  same  accident,  the  amount  of  compensation payable under this section shall be aggregated, but  shall not exceed the amount which would have been payable if permanent total incapacity had resulted from the injuries.

7. Compensation for temporary incapacity

(1)  Where a temporary incapacity, whether total or partial, results from the injury, the compensation shall be the periodical payments or a lump sum of money calculated accordingly, having regard to the probable duration, and probable changes in the degrees, of the incapacity.

(2)  The periodical payment shall be the difference between the monthly earnings the employee was earning at the time of the accident and the monthly earnings which the employee is earning or is capable of earning in any other suitable employment or business after the accident; but

(a) the  aggregate  of  the  periodical  payments  or  the  lump  sum  of  money  payable  under  this subsection shall not exceed the lump sum of money which would be payable in respect of the same degree of incapacity under section 5 or section 6, if the incapacity were permanent;

(b) a period of absence from duty certified necessary by a medical practitioner shall be regarded as  a  period  of  temporary  total  incapacity  irrespective  of  the  outcome  of  the  injury  and  a period subsequent to the first period but preceding the final assessment of disability shall be regarded as a period of temporary incapacity;

(c) the   maximum   duration   of   periodical   payments   under   this   section   shall   not   exceed twenty-four  months  except  where  the  chief   labour  officer  directs  the  continuance  of periodical payments during the continuance of a disability for a further period not exceeding six months;

(d) a  lump  sum  of  money  payable  under  section  5  or  6  shall  not  be  disturbed  by  reason  of periodical  payments  having  been  made  under  this  section  in  the  event  of  permanent incapacity following or after temporary total incapacity or temporary partial incapacity.

(3)  In fixing the amount of the periodical payment the Court may consider a payment, an allowance or a benefit which the employee may receive from the employer during the incapacity.

(4)  On the ceasing of the incapacity before the date on which a periodical payment falls due, a sum of money proportionate to the duration of the incapacity in that period is payable in respect of that period.

(5)  Where  an  employee  in  receipt  of  periodical  payments  under  this  section  intends  to  leave  the neighbourhood  in  which  the  employee  was  employed,  for  the  purpose  of  residing  elsewhere,  the employee shall give notice of that intention to the employer who may agree with the employee for the redemption of the periodical payments by a lump sum of money or for the continuance of the periodical payments.

(6)  Where the employer and the employee are unable to agree, either party may apply to the Court which may order a redemption and may determine the amounts to be paid or may order the continuance of the periodical payments.

(7)  A lump sum of money so ordered to be paid together with the periodical payments already made to the employer shall not exceed the lump sum which would be payable in respect of the same degree of incapacity under section 4 or 5, if the incapacity were permanent.

(8)  Where an employee in receipt of periodical payments under this section leaves the neighbourhood in which the employee was employed, for the purpose of residing elsewhere,

(a) without giving notice as provided in subsection (5), or

(b) having given the notice leaves the neighbourhood without having come to an agreement with the employer for the redemption or continuance of the periodical payments, or

(c) without having made an application to the Court under subsection (6), the employee is not entitled to the benefits under this Act during or in respect of the period of absence.

(9)  Where  the  employee’s  absence  from  the  neighbourhood  exceeds  six  months  without  justifiable cause, the employee shall cease to be entitled to the benefits under this Act.

8. Compensation for disfiguring injuries

(1)  Where  in  an  employment  personal  injury  of  the  description  specified  in  an  entry  in  the  first column of the First Schedule by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment, is caused to an employee, the employer shall pay as compensation an amount of money for the injury determined by a medical practitioner  recognised  by  the  Government,  not  exceeding  the percentage of the compensation payable in the case of permanent total incapacity that is specified in the corresponding entry in the second column of that Schedule.

(2)  The compensation payable under subsection (1) is irrespective of whether or not a compensation is payable  under  any  other  provision  of  this  Act;  but  a  mutilation  in  respect  of  which  compensation  is provided under the Third Schedule shall not rank as disfigurement under the First Schedule.

(3)  Where  more  injuries  than  one  are  caused  by  the  same  accident,  the  amount  of  compensation payable under this section shall be aggregated, but  shall not exceed the amount which would have been payable if permanent total incapacity has resulted from the injuries.

9. Method of calculating earnings

(1)  For  the  purposes  of  this  Act,  the  monthly  earnings  of  an  employee  shall  be  computed  in  the manner that is best calculated to give the rate per month at which the employee was being remunerated during the previous twelve months if the employee has been so long employed by the same employer, but, if  not,  then  for  a  shorter  period  during  which  the  employee  has  been  in  the  employment  of  the  same employer.

(2)  Where  by  reason  of  the  shortness  of  the  time  during  which  the  employee  has  been  in  the employment of the employer, or the casual nature of the employment, or the terms of the employment, it is  impracticable  at  the  date  of  the  accident  to  compute  the  rate  of  remuneration,  consideration  may  be given  to  the  average  monthly  amount  which,  during  the  twelve  months  previous  to  the  accident,  was being earned by a person of similar earning capacity in the same grade employed at the same work by the same employer, or, if there is a person who is not so employed, by a person of similar earning capacity in the same grade employed in the same class of employment and in the same district.

(3)  For the purposes of subsection (1), employment by the same employer means employment by the same  employer  in  the  grade  in  which  the  employee  was  employed  at  the  time  of  the  accident, uninterrupted by absence from work due to illness or any other unavoidable cause.

(4)  Where the employee had entered into concurrent contracts of service with two or more employers under which the employee worked at one time for one employer and at another time for another employer, the  monthly  earnings  shall  be  computed  as  if  the  earnings  under  those  contracts  were  earnings  in  the employment of the employer for whom the employee was working at the time of the accident.

(5)  The  earnings  of  the  employee  under  the  concurrent  contract  shall  be  disclosed  to  any  other employee  at  the  time  of  engagement  with  the  latter  and  shall  be  taken  into  account  only  so  far  as  the worker is incapacitated from performing the concurrent contract.

(6)  On the request of the employee to the employer liable to pay compensation, that employer shall furnish in writing a list of the earnings which have been earned by that employee on which the amount of the monthly earnings may be calculated for the purposes of this section.

10. Persons entitled to compensation

(1)  Compensation is payable to or for the benefit of the employee, or where death results from the injury, to or for the benefit of the employee’s dependant as provided by this Act.

(2)  Where a dependant dies before a claim in respect of death is made under this Act, or, if a claim has been made, before an order for the payment of compensation is made, the legal personal representative of the dependants do not have a right to payment of compensation, and the claim for compensation shall be dealt with as if the dependant had died before the employee.

11. Distribution of compensation

(1)  Compensation payable where the death of an employee resulted from an injury shall be paid to the Court, and the Court may order the sum of money so paid

(a) to  be  apportioned  among  the  dependants  of  the  deceased  employee  or  any  of  them  in  the proportion determined by the Court, or

(b) in the discretion of the Court to be allotted to any one dependant, and the sum of money so allotted to a dependant shall be paid to the dependant or be invested, applied or otherwise dealt with for the dependant’s benefit in the manner determined by the Court.

(2)  Where,  on  an  application  made  in  accordance  with  the  Rules,  it  appears  to  the  Court  that,  on account  of  the  differences  of  the  circumstances  of  the  various  dependants,  or  for  any  other  sufficient course,  an  order  made  under  subsection  (1)  ought  to  be  varied,  the  Court  may  make  an  order  for  the variation of the former order appropriate in the circum-stances of the case.

(3)  Compensation  payable  under  section  5  or  section  6  and  lump  sums  of  money  payable  under section 7 shall be paid to the Court, and a sum of money so paid shall be paid to the person entitled to that sum of money or be invested, applied or otherwise dealt with for the benefit of that person in the manner determined by the Court.

(4)  This section does not prevent an employer from making a payment to an employee pending the settlement or determination of the claim, and the Court may order that the whole or a part of the payment shall be deducted from the amount of compensation payable under this section.

(5)  Any other compensation payable under this Act may be paid to the employee or to the Court and when paid to the Court shall be paid by the Court to the person entitled to the compensation.

(6)  The receipt of the Registrar of the Court is a discharge in respect of an amount paid to the Court under this Act.

(7)  Omitted.

12. Requirements as to notice of accident and application for compensation

(1)  Proceedings for the recovery under this Act of compensation for an injury is not maintainable

(a) unless  notice  of  the  accident  has  been  given  by,  or  on  behalf  of,  the  employee  within  six months  after  the  happening  of  the  injury  and  before  the  employee  has  voluntarily  left  the employment in which the employee was injured, and

(b) unless  the  application  for  the  compensation  with  respect  to  the  accident  has  been  made within six months or, in the case of death, within six months from the time of death.

(2)  For the purposes of subsection (1),

(a) the want of, or a defect or an inaccuracy in, the notice is not a bar to the maintenance of the proceedings,

(i) if the employer is proved to have had knowledge of the accident from any other source at or about the time of the accident, or

(ii) if it is found in the proceedings for settling the claim that the defence of the employer is not, or would not, if a notice or an amended notice were then given and the hearing postponed, be prejudiced by the want, defect or inaccuracy, or

(iii) that the want, defect or inaccuracy was occasioned by mistake or any other reasonable cause;

(b) the failure to make an application within the period specified is not a bar to the maintenance of  the  proceedings  if  it  is  found  that  the  failure  was  occasioned  by  mistake  or  any  other reasonable cause.

(3)  Notice in respect of an injury under this Act shall be given as prescribed.

13. Employer to report the death of an employee

(1)  When  the  death  of  an  employee  from  a  cause  is  brought  to  the  notice  of  or  comes  to  the knowledge of the employer, the employer shall, within three months after the occurrence of the death, give notice of the death to the nearest labour officer.

(2)  The  notice  shall  state  the  circumstances  of  the  death  of  the  employee  if  they  are  known  to  the employer.

(3)  An  employer  who  fails  to  comply  with  subsection  (1)  without  reasonable  cause  commits  an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred penalty units.

(4)  This section shall not prevent a person from making a claim for compensation under this Act.

14. Medical examination and treatment

(1)  Where  an  employee  has  given  notice  of  an  accident,  the  employer  shall,  as  soon  as  reasonably possible arrange to have the employee medically examined free of charge to the employee, by a medical practitioner  named  by  the  employer  or  by  a  medical  practitioner  named  by  the  employee  with  the employer’s  approval,  and  an  employee  who  is  in  receipt  of  periodical  payments  under  section  6  shall submit to the medical examination as from time to time required by the medical practitioner.

(2)  When  the  examination  is  carried  out  by  a  medical  practitioner  named  by  the  employer,  the employee shall, when required, attend on that medical practitioner at the time and place notified to the employee  by  the  employer  or  that  medical  practitioner,  where  the  time  or  place  is  reasonable  or convenient.

(3)  Where  the  employee,  in  the  opinion  of  a  medical  practitioner,  is  unable  or  not  in  a  fit  state  to attend on the medical practitioner named by the employer, that fact shall be notified to the employer, and that medical practitioner shall fix a reasonable time and a convenient place for a personal examination of the employee and shall accordingly notify the employee.

(4)  Where  the  employee  refuses  to  submit  to  the  examination,  the  right  to  compensation  shall  be suspended until the examination has taken place, and if the refusal extends for a period of fifteen days from  the  date  when  the  employee  was  required  to  submit  to  the  examination  under  subsection  (2)  or subsection (3), compensation is not payable unless the Court is satisfied that there was reasonable cause for the refusal.

(5)  At the employee’s expense, the employee is entitled to choose a medical practitioner to be present at an examination conducted by a medical practitioner named or approved by the employer.

(6)  During  the  period  of  temporary  total  incapacity,  the  employer  shall  arrange  to  submit  the employee for normal medical treatment by the employer’s medical practitioner or the employee’s medical practitioner approved by the employer, at the expense of the employer.

(7)  The normal medical treatment includes a specialist treatment which the medical practitioner may require the employee to undergo.

(8)  Where the employee fails to submit to the treatment by a medical practitioner when so required under subsection (6), or having submitted for treatment has disregarded the instructions of the medical practitioner, then if it is proved

(a) that the failure or disregard was unreasonable in the circumstances of the case, and

(b) that the injury has been aggravated by that failure, the injury and resulting incapacity shall be deemed to be of the same nature and duration as they might reasonably have been expected to be if the employee had submitted to the treatment by, and duly carried out the instructions of, the medical practitioner, and compensation shall be payable accordingly.

(9)  Where under this section a right to compensation is suspended, compensation is not payable in respect of the period of suspension.

(10)  Despite anything else in this section, where a claim for compensation is made in respect of the death of an employee, then if the employee

(a) failed  to  submit  to  the  examination  by  a  medical  practitioner  when  so  required  under  this section, or

(b) failed  to  submit  to  the  treatment  by  a  medical  practitioner  when  so  required  under  this section, or

(c) having submitted to the treatment, disregarded the instructions of the medical practitioner, and if it is proved that the failure or disregard was unreasonable in the circumstances of the case and that the death of the employee was caused by that failure, the death shall not be deemed from the injury, and compensation is not payable in respect of the injury.

15. Agreement as to compensation

(1)  The  employer  and  the  employee  may,  after  the  injury  in  respect  of  which  the  claim  to compensation has arisen, agree in writing as to the compensation to be paid by the employer.

(2)  The  agreement  referred  to  in  subsection  (1)  shall  be  in  duplicate,  one  copy  to  be  kept  by  the employer and the other copy to be kept by the employee.

(3)  The compensation agreed on shall not be less than the amount payable under this Act.

(4)  Where the employee is an illiterate or is unable to read and understand the writing in the language in which the agreement is expressed,

(a) the agreement is not binding against the employee unless it is endorsed by a certificate of a labour officer to the effect that the officer read over and explained to the employee the terms of  the  agreement  and  that  the  employee  appeared  fully  to  understand  and  approve  of  the agreement; and

(b) the  agreement  shall  not  operate  to  preclude  the  employee  from  instituting  proceedings independently of this Act to recover damages in respect of the injury to which the agreement relates unless the certificate of the labour officer contains a statement to the effect that the labour officer explained to the employee that the making of the agreement would preclude the  employee  from  instituting  those  proceedings  and  that  the  employee  appeared  fully  to understand and accept the legal position in that regard.

(5)  An agreement made under subsection (1) may, on an application to the Court, be made an order of the Court.

(6)  Where compensation is agreed on the Court may, although the agreement has been made an order of the Court under  subsection (5), on an application by a party within three months after the date of the agreement, cancel it and make an order including an order as to a sum of money already paid under the agreement that in the circumstances the Court thinks just, if it is proved

(a) that the sum of money paid or to be paid was or is not in accordance with subsection (1), or

(b) that the agreement was entered into in ignorance of, or under a mistake as to the true nature of the injury, or

(c) that the agreement was obtained by fraud, undue influence, a misrepresentation or any other means that would in law, be sufficient grounds for avoiding it.

16. Determination of claims

(1)  Where an employer on whom notice of the accident has been served under section 12 does not within twenty-one days after the receipt of the notice agree in writing with the employee as to the amount of compensation to be paid, the employee may, in the prescribed form and manner, make an application for  enforcing  the  claim  to  compensation  to  the  Court  having  jurisdiction  in  the  district  in  which  the accident occurred which gave rise to the claim.

(2)  The claims for compensation under this Act, unless determined by agreement, and a matter arising out of the proceedings shall be determined by the Court, irrespective of the amount of money involved, and the Court may, for that purpose, call on a public officer or an independent medical practitioner to give evidence if the Court is of the opinion that the officer or practitioner is, by virtue of expert knowledge, able to assist the Court.

17. Review

(1)  A periodical payment under this Act under an agreement between the parties or under an order of the Court, may be reviewed by the Court on the application of the employer or of the employee.

(2)  Where  the  application  for  review  is  based  on  a  change  in  the  condition  of  the  employee,  the application  shall  be  supported  by  a  certificate  of  a  medical  practitioner  if  the  services  of  a  medical practitioner are available.

(3)  A  periodical  payment  may,  on  review  under  this  section  and  subject  to  this  Act,  be  continued, increased, diminished, converted to a lump sum of money, or ended.

(4)  Where the accident is found to have resulted in permanent incapacity, the periodical payment shall be converted to the lump sum of money to which the employee is entitled under section 5 or 6, and the lump sum shall be dealt with in accordance with subsection (2) of section 11.

(5)  Where an application is made by an employer under this section for a periodical payment to be ended  or  diminished,  and  the  application  is  supported  by  the  certificate  of  a  medical  practitioner,  the employer  may  pay  into  Court  the  periodical  payment,  or  so  much  of  the  payment  as  is  equal  to  the amount by which the employer contends that the periodical payment should be diminished, to abide the decision of the Court made on a review under this section.

(6)  In a review under this section the Court shall consider the capacity to work only of the employee as affected by the accident.

18. Limitation on employer to end or decrease periodical payments

Subject to subsection (6) of section 7, subsection (4) of section 14, and subsection (4) of section 17, an employer is not entitled, otherwise than in pursuance of an agreement or an order of the Court

(a) to end periodical payments except

(i) where  an  employee  resumes  work  and  the  earnings  are  not  less  than  the  earnings which the employee was obtaining before the accident, or

(ii) where an employee dies;

(b) to diminish periodical payments except

(i) where an employee in receipt of periodical payments in respect of total incapacity has actually returned to work, or

(ii) where  the  earnings  of  the  employee  in  receipt  of  periodical  payments  in  respect  of partial incapacity have actually been increased.

19. Jurisdiction of the Court

(1)  Except as is provided in this Act and the Rules, the Court may, on or in connection with a question to be investigated or determined exercise the powers and jurisdiction exercisable by a District Court in or in  connection  with  civil  actions  in  the  District  Court  and  the  law,  rules  and  practice  relating  to  civil actions  and  to  the  enforcement  of  judgments  and  orders  of  the  District  Court  shall  apply  with  the modifications that are necessary.

(2)  Where in proceedings under this Act on a claim for compensation in respect of the death of an employee, the Court is satisfied

(a) that other or sufficient evidence as to the dependency on the deceased employee of a person claiming to be a dependant, residing outside the District in which the proceedings are being taken, or

(b) as to the degree of that dependency, cannot be procured or cannot be procured without undue hardship to the claimant or any other party to the proceedings, a statement as to the dependency and as to the degree of dependency of the claimant signed by a labour officer shall be prima facie proof of the facts stated.

(3)  The signature of the labour officer shall be admitted without proof unless the Court has reason to doubt the genuineness of the signature.

(4)  Where evidence in the proceedings is adduced, which traverses the facts set out in the statement, or  for  any  other  sufficient  reason,  the  Court  may  request  a  Court  having  jurisdiction  in  the  district  in which  a  person  claiming  to  be  a  dependant  resides,  to  investigate  the  fact  and  the  degree  of  that dependency.

(5)  The record of the investigation including the finding of the Court is receivable as evidence in the proceedings,  and  a  certificate  signed  by  a  District  Magistrate  or  an  officer  of  the  Court  which  has conducted the investigation is sufficient proof of the record and the signature shall be admitted without proof unless the Court has reason to doubt the genuineness of the signature.

(6)  Where a request is receivable by a Court from a Court in another district for an investigation of a matter arising out of proceedings for compensation instituted in the other Court under this Act, the Court may  conduct  an  investigation,  and  shall  transmit  to  the  other  Court  the  record  of  the  investigation, including its findings, duly certified by the District Magistrate or by an officer of the Court.

20. Submission of questions of law

(1)  The Court may submit a question of law for the decision of a Justice of the High Court.

(2)  The submission shall be in the form of a special case in accordance with the Rules.

21. Appeals

(1)  Subject to this section and subsection (7) of section 11, an appeal lies to the High Court from an order of the Court.

(2)  An  appeal  does  not  lie  where  the  parties  have  agreed  to  abide  by  the  decision  of  the  Court,  or where the order of the Court gives effect to an agreement between the parties.

(3)  An appeal does not lie after the expiration of thirty days from the date of the order of the Court.

(4)  The High Court may extend the time for appealing under this section.

22. Liability where employee employed by contractors

(1)  Where  a  principal,  in  the  course  of  or  for  the  purposes  of  the  principal’s  trade  or  business, contracts with a contractor otherwise than as a tribute for the execution by or under the contractor of the whole or a part of a work undertaken by the principal, the principal is liable to pay an employee employed in the execution of the work the compensation under this Act which the principal would have been liable to pay if that employee had been immediately employed by the principal.

(2)  Where compensation is claimed from or proceedings are taken against the principal, then, in the application  of  this  Act,  references  to  the  principal  shall  be  substituted  for  references  to  the  employer, except that the amount of compensation shall be calculated with reference to the earnings of the employee under the employer by whom the employee is immediately employed.

(3)  A principal liable to pay compensation under this section, is entitled to pay compensation to the employee independently of this section.

(4)  Where a claim or an application for compensation is made under this section against a principal, the principal shall give notice of the claim or application to the contactor who shall then be entitled to intervene in an application made against the principal.

(5)  This section shall not be construed as preventing an employee recovering compensation under this Act from the contractor instead of the principal.

(6)  This  section  does  not  apply  where  the  accident  occurred  elsewhere  than  on,  or  in,  or  about premises  on  which  the  principal  has  undertaken  to  execute  the  work  or  which  are  otherwise  under the principal’s control or management.

(7)  This section does not apply where a contract is made by an employer with a person who is granted permission to win minerals, receiving a proportion of the minerals won by that person or the value of the minerals.

23. Remedies against employer and stranger

Where  the  injury  in  respect  of  which  compensation  is  payable  under  this  Act  was  caused  under circumstances creating a legal liability in a person other than the employer to pay damages in respect of the injury,

(a) the  employee  may  take  proceedings  against  that  person  to  recover  damages  and  against  a person  liable  to  pay  compensation,  but  is  not  entitled  to  recover  both  damages  and compensation; and

(b) if the employee has recovered compensation under this Act,

(i) the person by whom the compensation was paid, and

(ii) a  person  who  has  been  called  on  to  pay  an  indemnity  under  section 21   relating  to liability where the employee employed by contractors, is entitled to be indemnified as regards the amount  of compensation, including costs, by the person so liable to pay the damages, and a question as to the right to and amount of the indemnity shall, in default of agreement, be settled by civil suit or by consent of the parties by arbitration under the Arbitration Act, 1961 (Act 38).

24. Proceedings independently of this Act

(1)  Where the injury was caused by the personal negligence or wilful act of the employer or of any other person for whose act or default the employer is responsible, this Act shall not prevent proceedings to recover damages being instituted against the employer in a civil court independently of this Act.

(2)  A  judgment  obtained  under  subsection  (1)  whether  for  or  against  the  employer  is  a  bar  to proceedings at the suit of a person by whom, or on whose behalf, the proceedings were taken, in respect of the same injury under this Act.

(3)  A judgment obtained under this Act whether for on against the employer is a bar to proceedings at the suit of a person by whom, or on whose behalf, the proceedings were taken, in respect of the same injury independently of this Act.

(4)  An  agreement  between  the  employer  and  employee  in  accordance  with  section  14  is  a  bar  to proceedings by the employee in respect of the same injury independently of this Act.

(5)  Where in proceedings independently of this Act or on appeal, it is determined that the employer is not  liable,  the  Court  in  which  the  proceedings  are  taken  or  the  appellate  tribunal  may  proceed  to determine whether compensation under this Act is liable to be paid to the plaintiff and may assess the amount of compensation so payable, but may deduct from the compensation the extra costs which in the opinion  of  the  Court  or  appellate  tribunal  have  been  incurred  by  the  employer  by  reason  of  the proceedings having been taken independently of this Act.

(6)  Where in proceedings independently of this Act it is determined that

(a) damages are recoverable independently of this Act, or

(b) the employer would have been liable to pay compensation under this Act, subsection  (5)  shall  apply  as  if  the  action  had  been  dismissed,  and,  if  the  claimant  chooses  to  have compensation assessed and awarded in accordance with subsection (5), damages shall not be recoverable in that action.

(7)  Where  an  employee  or  the  employee’s  personal  representative  or  dependant  has recovered compensation under this Act from a third party in respect of an injury caused under circumstances which would give a right to recover reduced compensation in respect of the injury because the employee had been at fault, the right conferred by section 23 on the person by whom the compensation was paid, or on a person  called  on  to  pay  an  indemnity  under  section  22,  to  be  indemnified  by  the  third  party  shall  be limited to a right to be indemnified in respect of that part only of the sum of money paid or payable by that  person  as  bears  to  the  total  sum  of  money  so  paid  or  payable  the  same  proportion  as  the  reduced damages bear to the total damages which would have been recoverable if the employee had not been at fault.

25. Company going into liquidation

(1)  Where an employer which is a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179) has entered into a contract with an insurer in respect of a liability under this Act to an employee, then

(a) in the event of the company having commenced to be wound up, or

(b) a receiver or manager of the company, business or undertaking having been duly appointed, or

(c) possession  having  been  taken,  by  or  on  behalf  of  the  holders  of  debentures  secured  by  a floating  charge,  of  a  property  comprised  in  or  subject  to  the  charge,  the  rights  of  the company  against  the  insurers  as  respects  that  liability  shall,  despite  anything  in  the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179), be transferred to and vested in the employee, and on the transfer  the  insurers  shall  have  the  same  rights  and  remedies  and  be  subject  to  the  same liabilities as if they were the company, but the insurers shall not be under a greater liability to the employee than they would have been under to the company.

(2)  Where the liability of the insurers to the employee is less than the liability of the company to the employee, the employer may prove for the balance in the liquidation, or the employee may recover the balance from the receiver or manager.

26. Contracting out

(1)  A contract or an agreement whether made before or after the commencement of this Act, by which an employee relinquishes a right to compensation from an employer for an injury arising out of and in the course  of  employment,  is  void  in  so  far  as  the  contract  purports  to  remove  or  reduce  the  liability  of a person to pay a compensation under this Act.

(2)  An employee who has obtained compensation in respect of permanent partial or permanent total incapacity may enter into a contract reducing or  giving up the right to compensation under this Act in respect of a further personal injury by accident if the contract is certified to be fair and reasonable by a labour officer.

27. Compensation not to be assigned, charged or attached

Compensation payable under this Act is not capable of being assigned, charged or attached, and shall not pass to any other person by operation of law nor shall a claim be set off against the compensation.

28. Medical expenses

(1)  The employer shall defray the reasonable expenses incurred by an employee within the Republic or, with the approval of the Minister responsible for Health outside the Republic, as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment,

(a) in respect of medical, surgical and hospital treatment, skilled nursing services and the supply of medicines, and

(b) in respect of the supply, maintenance, repair and renewal of non-articulated artificial limbs and  apparatus,  dentures,  spectacles,  hearing  aids,  artificial  eyes  or  apparatus  as  may  be medically or surgically indicated in the case of the employee.

(2)  The Court may, when determining a dispute in respect of compensation, or on the application of an interested person,

(a) order the payment of the compensation to any of the persons entitled to receive it; and

(b) if  for  the  services  referred  to  in  paragraph  (a)  of  subsection  (1),  the  expenses  exceed  five hundred  cedis,  the  Court  may  apportion  that  amount  among  the  persons  providing  the services in the manner that the Court considers expedient.

29. Decision of Court in regard to medical aid

(1)  The disputes as to the necessity for, or the character or sufficiency of, a medical aid provide orto be provided under this Act shall be determined by the Court.

(2)  Omitted.

30. Fees for medical aid

The fees and charges for medical aid to employees within the Republic shall be in accordance with the prescribed scale, and a claim for an amount in excess of a fee or charge in accordance with that scale does not lie against an employee or the employer in respect of medical aid.

31. Occupational diseases

(1)  The  Minister  may,  by  legislative  instrument,  extend  this  Act  to  incapacity  or  death  certified  as caused by a disease specified in the instrument, and compensation is payable subject to this section, as if a disease so specified, were a personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment.

(2)  Subsection (1) applies only if a disease so specified, is due to the nature of the employment and contracted within a period of twelve months previous to the date of the employee’s incapacity.

(3)  The Minister may specify in the instrument that a disease, for the purposes of this Act, is due to the nature of the employment, unless otherwise certified by a medical practitioner or unless the employer can prove to the contrary, if the employee who contracts the disease was within a period of twelve months previous to the date of disablement by the disease employed in the process or processes specified in the instrument in relation to that disease.

(4)  Compensation is not payable under this section in respect of incapacity or death of an employee if the incapacity begins or the death happens more than twelve months after the employee has ceased to be employed by the employer from whom the compensation is claimed, but if the incubation period of the disease is more than twelve months, that period shall be taken into account, except where the death of an employee has been preceded by a period of incapacity due to the disease causing the death in respect of which the employer is liable under this Act.

(5)  For the purposes of calculating an employee’s earnings,

(a)  where the employee was, at the date of the incapacity or death, employed in employment to the nature of which the disease is due, the date of commencement of the incapacity or the date  of  the  death  if  there  was  no  previous  incapacity,  shall  be  treated  as  the  date  of  the happening of the accident, and

(b)   where the employee was not so employed at the date of the incapacity or death, the last day on which the employee was so employed shall be treated as the date of the happening of the accident, and  for  the  purposes  of  this  Act,  the  commencement  of  the  incapacity  of  the  employee  or  the  date  of death, if there was no previous incapacity, shall be treated as the date of the happening of the accident.

(6)  Where the disease has been contracted by a gradual process so that two or more employers are severally liable to pay compensation in respect of the disease under this section, the aggregate amount of the compensation recoverable from those employers shall not exceed the amount that would have been recoverable  if  those  employers  had  been  a  single  employer,  and  those  employers  are,  in  default  of agreement, entitled as between themselves to the rights of contribution determined by the Court, having regard to the circumstances of the case, in an action brought or application made by any of them for this purpose.

32. Returns by employer and insurer

(1)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, make Regulations prescribing the returns to be made by employers and by insurers carrying on in the Republic the business of insuring employers against their liabilities under this Act.

(2)  A person required to make a return under this Act who fails to make the return within the specified time or who makes or causes to be made a return which is false in a material particular, or on being so required fails to give an information or explanation in respect of the return which it is in the power of that person  to  give,  commits  an  offence  and  is  liable  to  a  fine  not  exceeding  twenty-five  penalty  units  for every day during which the default continues.

(3)  Where  a  person  convicted  of  an  offence  against  this  Act  is  a  company,  the  chairman  or  every director of the company who is resident in the Republic is guilty of that offence unless it is proved that the act or omission constituting the offence took place without the knowledge or consent of the chairman or the directors.

(4)  Where a person convicted of an offence against this Act is a partnership, every partner of that firm who  is  resident  in  the  Republic  is  guilty  of  that  offence  unless  it  is  proved  that  the  act  or  omission constituting the offence took place without the knowledge or consent of that partner.

33. Regulations and Rules

(1)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, make Regulations prescribing the procedure, forms and fees, and generally for the purpose of giving effect to this Act.

(2)  The Rules of Court Committee after consultation with the Minister, may make Rules of Court for regulating  proceedings  before  the  Court  under  this  Act  and  for  the  fees  payable  in  respect  of  the proceedings.

34. Transfer of funds

(1)  Where  an  arrangement  has  been  made  by  which  sums  of  money  awarded  under  this  Act  to beneficiaries  resident  outside  the  Republic,  and  sums  of  money  awarded  under  the  law  relating  to workmen’s  compensation  in  another  country  to  beneficiaries  resident  or  becoming  resident  in  the Republic,  those  sums  of  money  may,  at  the  request  of  the  authority  by  which  the  award  is  made,  be transferred to and administered by a competent authority in that country or in the Republic.

(2)  Regulations made under section 33 may provide

(a) for the transfer, in the manner provided by the arrangement, to the country with which the arrangement is made of money in the disposition of the Court, applicable for the benefit  of a person resident in or about to reside in that country;

(b) for the receipt and administration by an officer appointed by the Minister for this purpose of the money which under that arrangement has been transmitted from the country with which the arrangement has been made as money applicable for the benefit of a person resident or about to reside in the Republic.

35. Payment of compensation within specified period

(1)  Where  an  employee  becomes  entitled  under  this  Act  to  the  payment  of  compensation  by  the employer, the chief labour officer or any other labour officer authorised in that behalf by the chief labour officer shall, forthwith, notify the employer of the amount of the compensation payable by the employer to  that  employee,  and  where  the  amount  of  the  compensation  has  been  altered  under  section  15,  the amount of the compensation so altered.

(2)  Unless the compensation is payable to the Court under this Act, the compensation shall be paid to the employee or the dependants of the employee within three months of receipt by the employer of the notification given under subsection (1).

(3)  Where the Court has been called on to review or determine the amount of the compensation, the employer shall pay the compensation awarded by the Court within five weeks of the Court’s award, and, if there has been an appeal to the High Court, within one month of the determination of the appeal by the High Court.

(4)  In this section “compensation” includes periodical payments.

36. Calculation of compensation

(1)  Compensation to an injured employee shall be calculated only on the first twenty-five thousand cedis  of  an  employee’s  earnings  for  a  year,  that  is  to  say,  an  employee’s  earnings  up  to  twenty-five thousand cedis a year shall be paid as compensation on the full salary.

(2)  An employee earning above twenty-five thousand cedis a year shall not be paid compensation in excess of the twenty-five thousand cedis.

(3)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, make Regulations to revise the ceiling of twenty-five thousand cedis in accordance with changes in earnings.

37. Offence and penalty

(1)  An  employer  who  contravenes  a  provision  of  this  Act  commits  an  offence  and  is  liable  on summary  conviction,  to  a  fine  not  exceeding  two  hundred  and  fifty  penalty  units  or  to  a  term  of imprisonment not exceeding one year or to both the fine and to the imprisonment.

(2)  Where an offence is committed by a body of persons,

(a) in  the  case  of  a  body  corporate,  other  than  a  partnership,  every  director  or  officer  of  that body corporate shall be deemed to have committed that offence, and

(b) in the case of a partnership, every partner of  that firm shall be deemed to have committed that offence.

(3)  A person shall not be convicted under subsection (2) if it is proved that the offence was committed without the knowledge of that person or that due diligence was exercised to prevent the commission of the offence.

(4)  Civil  proceedings  under  this  Act  shall  not  relieve  an  employer  from  liability  in  respect  of  the commission of an offence under this section.

38. Interpretation

(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,

compensation” means compensation as provided by this Act;

Court” means a District or Circuit Court or any other Court declared by the Chief Justice to be the  Court  to  which  in  an  area  or  for  a  case  or  class  of  cases  proceedings  under  this  Act  may  be brought;

dependants” includes

(a) the members of the family of an employee, and

(b) any other persons whom the employee was by reason of adoption under the Adoption Act, 1962 (Act 104) or otherwise obliged to maintain and who were dependent on the earnings of the employee at the time of the death of the employee or would but for the incapacity due to the accident have been so dependent;

earnings” includes wages paid to the employee by the employer and the value of food, fuel, or quarters  supplied  to  the  employee  by  the  employer  if  as  a  result  of  the  accident  the  employee  is deprived of the food, fuel, or quarters; and overtime payments or any other special remuneration for work  done,  whether  by  way  of  bonus  or  otherwise,  if  of  constant  character  or  for  work  habitually performed;  but  does  not  include  remuneration  for  intermittent  overtime,  or  casual  payments  of  a non-current nature, or an ex gratia payment whether given by the employer or any other person, or the value  of  a  travelling  concession  or  a  contribution  paid  by  the  employer  of  an  employee  towards  a pension or provident fund, or a sum of money paid to an employee to cover special expenses entailed on the employee by the nature of the employment;

employee”,  subject  to  section  1  and  subsection  (2)  of  this  section,  means  a  person  who  has entered  into  or  is  working  under  a  contract  of  service  or  apprenticeship  with  an  employer,  whether skilled or unskilled, and whether the contract is expressed or implied, oral or in writing;

employer”, includes the Government and a body of persons corporate or unincorporated and the legal  personal  representative  of  a  deceased  employer,  and,  where  the  services  of  an  employee  are temporarily lent or let on hire  to another person by the person with whom the employee has entered into a contract of service or apprenticeship, the latter, for the purposes of this Act, continues to be the employer of the employee whilst the employee is working for that other person; and in relation to a person  employed  for  the  purposes  of  a  game or recreation  and engaged or paid through a club, the manager,  or  members  of  the  managing  committee  of  the  club  are,  for  the  purposes  of  this  Act,  the employer;

insurer” includes an insurance society, association, company or under writer;

labour officer” means a person who is a labour officer for the purposes of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651);

medical  practitioner”  means  a  medical  practitioner  registered  under  the  Medical  and  Dental Act;

member of the family” means

(a) when used in relation to a citizen anyone of those persons mentioned in the Second Schedule according as the family is based on the paternal or the maternal system;

(b) when  used  in  relation  to  a  person  who  is  not  a  citizen,  the  wife,  husband,  father,  mother, grandfather,  grandmother,  stepfather,  stepmother,  son,  daughter,  grandson,  granddaughter,  stepson, stepdaughter, brother, sister, half-brother, or half sister;

Minister” means the Minister responsible for Labour matters;

outworker” means a person to whom articles or materials are given out to be made up, cleansed, washed,  altered,  ornamented,  finished,  or  repaired,  or  adapted  for  sale  in  that  person’s  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,  an  incapacity  which  reduces  the  earning capacity of an employee in an employment in which the employee was engaged at the time of the accident resulting in the incapacity, and

(b) where  the  incapacity  is  of  a  permanent  nature,  an  incapacity  which  reduces  the  earning capacity of the employee in an employment which the employee was capable of undertaking at that time; but an injury specified in the Third Schedule, except an injury or a combination of injuries in respect of which the percentage or aggregate percentage of the loss of earning capacity as specified in that Schedule against that injury or injuries amounts to one hundred per centum  or more shall be deemed to result in permanent partial incapacity;

Rules”  means  the  Rules  of  Court  made  under  this  Act  by  the  Rules  of  Court  Committee established under article 157 of the Constitution;

total  incapacity”  means  an  incapacity  whether  of  a  temporary  or  permanent  nature,  which incapacities an employee for an employment which the employee was capable of undertaking at the time of the accident resulting in the incapacity; but a permanent total incapacity shall be deemed to result  from  an  injury  or  from  a  combination  of  injuries  specified  in  the  Third  Schedule  where  the percentage or aggregate percentage of the loss of earning capacity as specified in that Schedule against the injury or injuries, amounts to one hundred percent or more;

tributer” means a person who is granted permission to win minerals, receiving a proportion of the minerals won by that person or the value of the minerals.

(2)  The following persons are exempted from the definition of “employee”:

(a) a person whose employment is of a casual nature and who is employed otherwise than for the purpose of the employer’s trade or business, who is not a person employed for the purposes of a game or recreation and engaged or paid through a club, or

(b)  an outworker, or

(c) a tributer, or

(d) a member of the employer’s family dwelling in the employee’s house or compound, or

(e) a person employed in agricultural or handicraft work by an employer who normally employs less than five employees, or

(f) a class of persons declared by the Regulations not to be an employee for the purposes of this  Act.

(3)  Where in proceedings for the recovery of compensation under this Act it appears to the Court that the contract of service or apprenticeship under which the injured person was working at the time when the accident causing the injury happened was illegal, the Court may, if having regard to the circumstances of the case it thinks proper so to do, deal with the matter as if the injured person had at that time been a person working under a valid contract of service or apprenticeship.

(4)  Except  for  the  purposes  of  section  15,  a  reference  to  an  employee  who  has  been  injured  shall, unless  the  context  otherwise  requires,  where  the  employee  is  dead,  include  a  reference  to  the  legal personal representatives, or to the dependants of the employee or any of them or the Attorney-General or any other officer appointed by the Minister to act on behalf of the dependants of the employee.

(5)  The performance of the functions of a local or any other public authority shall, for the purposes of this Act, be treated as the trade or business of the authority; but this subsection shall not be deemed to apply to the Government, or to a department of the Government.

39. Repeal and saving

Spent.

SCHEDULES

First Schedule

DISFIGURING INJURIES

[Section 8]

                                                                                                                                                                      Percentage

(1)    Mutilation or amputation of one ear                       15

(2)   Deformity of the hand through the loss of all the three phalanges of a finger and the metacarpals of the hand    20

(3    Mutilation or amputation of nose                             30

(4)   Conspicuous deformity of face generally                  50

(5)   Conspicuous deformity of external appearance generally, other than face                                                             40

(6)   Functional loss of genital organs                             85

For the purposes of this Schedule, where there is a dispute as to whether there has been a conspicuous deformity, or functional loss of genital organs, the doubt shall be resolved by a medical board appointed by the chief labour officer.  The  medical  board  shall  consist  of  a  medical  practitioner  as  chairman nominated  by  the  Minister,  a  medical  practitioner  nominated  by  the  employer  and,  if  the  employee wishes, a medical practitioner nominated by the employee.

SECOND SCHEDULE

MEMBERS OF FAMILY

[Section 38]

Paternal system                                  Maternal system

mother, father                                   mother, father

wife, son, daughter                            wife, son, daughter

brother, sister                                    brother, sister

father’s father                                    mother’s mother

father’s brother                                  mother’s brother

mother’s sister

sister’s son

sister’s daughter

mother’s sister’s son

mother’s sister’s daughter

Third Schedule

INCAPACITY

[Section 6]

Injury                                               Percentage of Incapacity

Loss of two limbs                                                       100

Loss of both hands or of all fingers and thumbs            100

Loss of both feet                                                        100

Total loss of sight                                                       100

Total paralysis                                                            100

Injuries resulting in being permanently bed-ridden        100

Any other injury causing permanent total disablement   100

Loss of arm at shoulder                                               100

Loss of arm between elbow and shoulder                       80

Loss of arm at elbow                                                    70

Loss of arm between wrist and elbow                             70

Loss of four fingers and thumb of one hand                    70

Loss of four fingers of one hand                                     50

Loss of thumb — both phalanges                                   35

Loss of thumb — phalanx                                              10

Loss of index finger — three phalanges                           15

Loss of index finger — two phalanges                             10

Loss of index finger — one phalanx                                  6

Loss of middle finger — three phalanges                          10

Loss of middle finger — two phalanges                              6

Loss of middle finger — one phalanx                                 4

Loss of ring finger — three phalanges                                6

Loss of ring finger — two phalanges                                   5

Loss of ring finger — one phalanx                                      3

Loss of little finger — three phalanges                                5

Loss of little finger — two phalanges                                  4

Loss of little finger — one phalanx                                     3

Loss of metacarpals — first or second (additional)               4

Loss of metacarpals — third, fourth or fifth (additional)       3

Loss of leg — at or above knee                                        75

Loss of leg — below knee                                                 60

Loss of foot                                                                     40

Loss of toes — all on one foot                                           20

Loss of toe — great, both phalanges                                  1

Loss of toe — great, one phalanx                                       3

Loss of toe — other than great                                           2

Loss of sight — of one eye                                                40

Loss of hearing of one ear                                                 15

Loss of remaining eye by one — eyed employee                 100

Total loss of hearing                                                         100

Loss of remaining arm by one — armed employee              100

Loss of remaining leg by one — legged employee               100

Loss of mental capacity                                                    100

Loss of upper or lower central incisor                                  3

Loss of upper or lower incisor                                             2

Loss of upper or lower canine                                             2

Loss of any one posterior tooth, that is to say, premolar or molar                                                                               1

Fracture of upper or lower jaw                                           25

Where there is loss of, or injury to, an internal  organ such as the spleen, kidney, and others and the spine,  not  resulting  in  total  incapacity,  a  medical  board  appointed  by  the  Minister  and  the  rate  of compensation payable shall not exceed the compensation payable in respect of partial incapacity.

Total permanent loss of the use of a member shall be treated as loss of the member.

Where  there  is  permanent  partial  loss  of  the  use  of  a  member the percentage of incapacity shall be rated at fifty percent of the percentages for total permanent loss of the member.

In  the  case  of  a  right-handed  employee,  an  injury  to  the  left  arm  or  hand  and  in  the  case  of  a left-handed employee, to the right arm or hand, shall be rated at ninety percent of above percentage.

Where there is loss of two or more parts of the hand, the percentage of incapacity shall not be more than for the loss of the whole hand.

MEMORANDUM

This  is  an  Act  to  consolidate  with  amendments,  the  law  relating  to  compensation  to  workmen  for personal injuries caused by accidents arising out and in the course of their employment. It is presented so as to bring together the law on compensation to workmen.

The principle of the compulsory payment by an employer of compensation in respect of the death or disablement  of  a  workman  as  a  result  of  an  accident  occurring  in  the  course  of  his  employment  — independently of negligence on the part of employer or fellow  worker — was first introduced into the Statute Law towards the end of the nineteenth century. That principle still survives and is basic in the Act now presented.

The Common Law

Prior to the introduction of the principle just mentioned, the common law had restricted the employer’s liability to cases in which the injuries suffered by the workman in the course of his employment were attributable  to  the  negligence  of  the  employer.  The  employer,  however,  had  been  liable  only  for  his personal  negligence,  and  not  for  that  of  an  injured  workman’s  fellow-worker.  This  was  the  famous defence of “common employment”, based upon a supposed bargain by a worker on entering employment accepting, as a risk to his employment, the carelessness of his fellow-workers. The accident for which an employer was not liable fell into two classes:

(a) those not attributable in any way to negligence, and

(b) those attributable to the negligence of the injured workman’s fellow-worker.

With regards to class (a) the common law, in principle, gave no remedy, as the common law was concerned with negligence only, and not with accidents as such.

With regards to class (b) the common law had a good deal to say in the course of time, although it was of but little help to the injured workman.

This, at least however, must be said for the common law that, having erected the notion of “common employment” into a legal rule, it held it in leash  by  the  adoption  of  two  specific  limitations  to  its  application:  first,  there  had  to  be  a  common employer as well as a common undertaking and, second, the undertaking had to be one, in substance and in fact, that is common to the workers concerned in the accident causing the injury.

A  number  of  Statutes  relating  to  employer’s  liability,  factories,  and  fatal  accidents,  in  due  course, modified the common law rules. But with the ever-increasing complexity of the then master and servant relationship the master was brought less and less into contact with his servants and the question of his personal negligence became correspondingly less and less  a practicable basis for his liability. In the case of the incorporated companies, personal negligence had gradually disappeared altogether as the company was  only  a  legal  and  not  a  natural  person.  And  the  idea  that  the  chairman,  directors  and  officers  of  a company were all equally liable for the negligence of the corporate body, unless the contrary was shown, had not yet developed into the formal doctrine which it ultimately became. This doctrine is embodied in section 32 of the Act relating to the returns to be made by employers and insurers.

Two  other  defences  were  open  under  the  common  law  to  an  employer  even  where  the  workman’s claim for damages was not successfully met by the defence of “common employment”. The first was that the  workman  had  contributed  to  his  injury  by  his  own  negligence.  This  was  known  as  the  defence  of contributory negligence. It was successful only where it could be shown that the workman could, by the exercise  of  such  care  and  skill  as  he  was  bound  to  exercise,  have  avoided  the  consequence  of  the negligence of his employer. The law relating to contributory negligence has been amended in this country by the Civil Liability Act, 1963 (Act 176) which replaces contributory negligence as an absolute defence by  the  more  equitable  rule  of  an  apportionment  of  the  liability  for  damages  (or  compensation)  where contributory negligence is successfully pleaded.

The  second  defence  open  to  the  employer  under  the  common  law  was  the  dictum:  Volenti  non  fit injuria. This dictum has been paraphrased as follows: “One who has invited or assented to an act being done towards him cannot, when he suffers from it, complain of it as a wrong”. But a clear distinction was drawn between knowledge and assent. Where an employee was subjected to a risk owing to a breach of duty on the part of his employer the mere fact that he continued to work, even though he knew of this risk, and did not remonstrate, did not preclude his recovering in respect of the breach of duty on the part of  his  employer  by  reason  only  of  the  dictum:  Volenti  non  fit  injuria.  The dictum was not applicable unless there was, in addition to knowledge  on the workman’s part of the risk he was running, an actual assent to undertake it. And assent was held to be a question of fact and not of law.

The defence of “common employment” has been abolished from the law of Ghana by a general Statute on civil liabilities as part of the programme of law reform.

Industrial Accidents

Nothing  is  more  characteristic  of  modern  industry  including  agriculture,  than  the  risks  to  which  it exposes those engaged in it. A large share of the burden of supporting workers injured at their work has been placed on the shoulders of employers who have, therefore, a direct pecuniary interest, apart from their humanitarian feelings, in keeping down the number of serious accidents. The Insurance Companies, by whose agency the burden of responsibility for accidents is rateably distributed over the whole body of insuring  employers  are  keen  to  detect  slackness  on  the  part  of  employers  and  wilful  misconduct  and malingering on the part of workmen. Governments, with their special inquiries, reports from inspectors and certifying surgeons, and the special rules for dangerous occupations are always seeking to reduce the avoidable causes of accidents. In spite of this, accidents continue to occur, and it can only be concluded that  a  large  proportion  of  accidents  are  not  preventable  as  a  result  of  the  complications  of  modern machinery  and  processes,  occasional  mechanical  defects,  the  incidence  of  involuntary  inattention, unexpected illness and the recurrent human frailty of fatigue. All of which indicate again the wisdom of basing  the  statutory  claim  for  compensation  upon  the  accident  as  such  and  not  primarily  upon  any attendant actionable  wrong.  This  principle  would,  it  is  hoped,  best  become  the  relevant  chapter in any

comprehensive code of national social insurance.

The Number of Industrial Accidents in Ghana

The number of accidents in major industrial occupations which took place in Ghana in the year 1974 - 1975 (the last for which official figures are available) dealt with by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare was 6064, of which 174 were fatal. These occurred in occupations in (a) agriculture, forestry and fishing  (754);  (b)  mining  and  quarrying  (687);  (c)  manufacturing (1661);  (d)  construction  (1108);  (e) electricity,  gas,  water  and  sanitary  services (217);  (f )  commerce  (503);  (g)  transport,  storage  and communications  (913);  and  (h)  services (221).  They  were  spread  all  over  the  country.  A  total  of  4414 have been finalised and the sum of ¢673,775.34 was paid in compensation.

In 1973-1974 the comparable figures were 4306 cases dealt with, and the sum of ¢882,974,94 was paid in compensation.

Historical Note

The  following  is  a  brief  note  on  the  history  of  workmen’s  compensation  legislation  in  our  own country. The first Ordinance on the subject was the Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance, 1940 (No. 52) which came into force on the 1st July, 1942 as the Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance (Cap. 94). It was limited in scope and in the benefits it provided for injured workmen. It did not, for example, apply to persons whose earnings exceeded ¢600 a year, as it was expected that persons earning more than that sum at that time should be capable of instituting legal action to obtain damages for the injuries suffered. Where the injury prevented a workman from ever being employed again (called permanent total incapacity) the compensation payable under the Ordinance was a sum equivalent to the total of forty-two months of his earnings or ¢1,500, whichever sum was the less. In the case of a fatal injury, an indemnity was paid to the dependants of the deceased workmen in an amount equivalent to the total of thirty months of the earnings of the deceased, or ¢1,200 whichever sum was the less.

These limited provisions remained in force until  the year 1954 when the Workmen’s Compensation

(Amendment) Ordinance of that year became law. That Ordinance sought to reflect the salaries structure of the time and introduced a number of new features. It brought within the scope of the system workmen whose  earnings  exceed  ¢600  a  year  but  did  not  exceed  ¢1,200  a  year.  It provided for the payment of medical expenses by the employer and for the supply of artificial limbs. The maximum compensation for a fatal injury was increased to ¢2,000 and for permanent tota l incapacity to ¢1,500. It also introduced the principle of the payment by the employer of the cost and expenses of a servant attendant on an injured worker where, owing to the nature of the injury, such attendance was continuously required.

One very important provision of the Ordinance of 1954 was that which gave the Minister responsible for Labour power to extend the scope of the Ordinance to occupational diseases.

The Workmen’s Compensation (Amendment) Act, 1961 (Act 53) extended the scope of our workmen’s compensation legislation still further. It provided for compensation for disfiguring and other social injuries to workmen, e.g. the functional loss of genital organs.

In 1963 the National Advisory Committee on Labour reviewed the entire scope of the law on this subject in order to bring it into line with the social policy of the Government. The main features of the Committee’s recommendations which were embodied in the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1963 (Act 174) were as follows:

(1)    To remove all ceiling figures in respect of workmen’s earnings in the calculation of the amount  of workmen’s compensation to be paid in a given case and to provide that the compensation should be determined by the actual earnings of the workman at the time of the accident and the extent of the injury.

(2)   To review the formulae for calculating the compensation payable in order to provide more appropriate compensation for the injuries sustained.

(3)    To deal more specifically with the growing problem of occupational diseases.

Following the decisions in the case of Alli Chana v. Konongo Gold Mines Ltd . (Unreported judgment of  the  High  Court,  Kumasi,  13th  May,  1963),  section  15  of  the  Act  was  amended  by  the  Workmen’s Compensation (Amendment) Act, 1965 (Act 295). The purpose of the amendment was to make it clear that in all cases where a workman was illiterate or unable to read and understand writing in the language in which the agreement was expressed, the agreement (a) would not be binding against him unless it was certified  by  a  Labour  Officer  who  had  read  over  and  explained  it  to  him  and  that  he  understood  and approved   of   its   terms,   and   (b)   would   not   preclude   the   workman   from   instituting   proceedings independently of the Act unless it was certified by the Labour Officer who had explained the position to him and that the workman fully understood and accepted the fact that the making of the agreement would preclude him from instituting such proceedings.

In  1966,  the  Act  was  further  amended  by  the  Workmen’s  Compensation  Act,  1963  (Amendment) Decree, 1966 (N.L.C.D. 86) by substituting a new  section 15 for section 15 so as to clarify the effect of the amendments carried out by the Workmen’s Compensation (Amendment) Act, 1965 (Act 295). This Decree consequently repealed Act 295.

The  Act  was  further  amended  by  the  Workmen’s  Compensation  Act  (Amendment)  Decree,  1968 (N.L.C.D. 238). The object of the amendment was to ensure that employers who default in the payment of compensation to  injured  workmen  are  punished  under  the  law.  In  the  same  year  the  Act  was  again amended by the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1963 (Amendment) Decree, 1968 to include in  section 28, provision for the supply of spectacles, hearing aids and other surgical apparatus such as artificial eyes, by  employers  where  a  workman,  in  the  course  of  his  employment,  injures  himself  as  a  result  of  an accident.

The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1963 (Act 174) as amended, has become inoperable and obsolete in some parts due to changes that have taken place  in the economy and the structure of industry in the country. These deficiencies were exacerbated by the general wage increase in 1977 and 1980 when the new levels of wages removed from the ambit of the Act most wage earners.

General Interpretation of the Act

The  Workmen’s  Compensation  Act  now  presented  is  expressed  and  should  be  construed  not  in  a technical  but  popular  sense.  That  it  to  say,  the  words  are  to  be  read  in  their  common  and  ordinary meaning  and  are  not  to  be  strained  to  bring  in  or  to  exclude  any  particular  case.  It is so clearly a compendium  of  remedial  measures  that  the  Courts  will,  it  is  hoped,  be  slow  to  cut  down  the  remedy given, either by reference to the amount of the compensation to be awarded or by adopting interpretations other than those broadly intended. The Act will apply, notwithstanding any contract to the contrary made between employer and workman, whether before or after its commencement.

Employers’ Liability for Workmen’s Compensation

[Section 1 to 11]

The first ten sections of the Act deal with the liability of employers for the payment of compensation to  workmen  (as  defined  in  the  Act)  in  respect  of  injuries  resulting  from  accident,  the  amount  of  the compensation to be paid in the various cases which can arise, the method of calculating the workmen’s earnings for the purpose of determining the compensation payable, and the person to whom it is to be paid. Exceptions from these provisions are made in the following cases, namely, where the injury is due to the workman having been under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs at the time of the accident or where the injury was deliberately self-inflicted or where the workman knowingly misrepresented to the employer that he was not suffering or had not previously suffered from that or a similar injury. In these cases the employer is under no liability whatever to pay compensation. However, in all cases of injury the employer will be liable to pay medical expenses.

Under  section  2  (2)  of  the  Workmen’s  Compensation  Act,  1963  (Act  174),  no  compensation  was payable where the injury of a workman did not incapacitate him for at least five consecutive days. This subsection has been replaced by a new subsection (2) of section 9 which makes it possible for a workman to enjoy his earnings while he is undergoing treatment for injuries he has sustained through an accident arising out of, and in the course of his employment.

Section 2 (3) of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1963 (Act 174) entitled the employer not to pay compensation in a situation where it is proved that a workman’s injury is attributable to the serious and wilful misconduct of the workman. This has been deleted from the new Act.

The division of dependants into those wholly or partially dependent on the earnings of a workman has been abolished in the Act as the word “dependants” is defined in the Act and secondly the expressions “wholly” and “partially dependent” do not lend themselves to clear and indisputable interpretations. The rate  of  compensation  payable  to  dependants  has  been  raised  from  forty-two  months  earnings  to  sixty months’ earnings of a workman who dies leaving dependants as a result of injuries he has sustained in an accident. Where, however in respect of the same accident compensation had been paid for permanent total incapacity,  or  permanent  partial  incapacity  or  for  temporary  incapacity,  any  sums  so  paid  shall  be deducted  from  the  amount  payable  on  the  death  of  the  workman  resulting  from  the  injury.  It will be observed that apart from the increased compensation payable in fatal cases as proposed by the Act, all medical expenses are now to be paid by the employer. The employer is also to bear burial costs up to two thousand cedis or as stipulated in the Collective Agreement, whichever is the higher.

In  the  case  of  permanent  total  incapacity  (not  resulting  in  death)  the  amount  of  the  compensation payable shall be a sum equivalent to ninety-six months’ earnings. This is a considerable improvement on the provision in Act 174 which was fifty-four months earnings.

In  the  case  of  permanent  partial  incapacity,  the  amount  of  the  compensation  payable  to  an  injured worker will be a percentage of that payable in respect of permanent total incapacity. This percentage will represent the percentage of the loss of earning capacity of the worker caused by the injury. And where more injuries than one are caused by the same accident, the compensation payable shall be aggregated but it shall in no case exceed the amount which would have been payable if permanent total incapacity had resulted from the multiple injuries.

Section  7  lays  down  the  compensation  payable  in  the  case  of  temporary  incapacity.  Where  the incapacity, whether total or partial, is temporary, the compensation shall be paid in periodical sums or in a lump sum having regard to the probable duration and probable changes in the degree of the incapacity.

Second  8 – Compensation  for  disfiguring  injuries  are  to  be  calculated  by  a  medical  practitioner recognised by the Government. The types of such injuries are set out in the First Schedule to the Act. The compensation fixed by the medical practitioner in each such case shall be determined by him so as not to exceed  such  percentage  of  the  compensation  for  total  incapacity  as  is  specified  in  that  Schedule.  The compensation  payable  for  a  disfiguring  injury  shall  be  irrespective  of  whether  or  not  compensation  is payable under any provision of the Act other than those relating to disfiguring injuries. Any mutilation for which compensation is provided under the Third Schedule shall not rank as disfigurement under the First Schedule.

Where  more  injuries  than  one  are  caused  by  the  same  accident  the  amount  of  compensation  for disfiguring injuries shall be aggregated, but not so in any case as to exceed the amount which would have been payable if permanent total incapacity had resulted from the injuries.

Section  9  lays  down  rules  as  to  the  method  of  calculating  a  worker’s  monthly  earnings  taking,  for example, as the standard, the period of twelve months prior to the date of the accident if the worker had been so long employed by the same employer; and, if he was not so long employed, then any less period of such employment.

Section  10  sets  out  the  persons  to  or  for  the  benefit  of  whom  compensation  is  payable  namely  the injured workman or, where his death had resulted from the injury, to or for the benefit of his dependants. The legal personal representative of a dependant who has died before a claim has been made in respect of the death of an injured workman, or before an order for the payment of compensation is made, shall have no right to the payment of compensation, and in that case, the claim for compensation shall be dealt with as if that dependant had died before the workman.

Distribution of Compensation

Section  11  provides  for  the  payment  into  Court  of  compensation  payable  where  the  death  of  a workman resulted from the injury and for the distribution amongst the dependants of the sum so paid. Throughout the Act the word “Court” means a District or Circuit Court or any other Court designated by the Chief Justice for any area or any case or class of proceedings. The Court may, in its discretion, order the allotment of the sum to the dependant either to be paid to him or to be invested, applied or otherwise dealt with for his benefit in such manner as the Court may think fit. The Court may vary any such order in the  event  of  a  variation  in  the  circumstances  of  the  dependants.  Compensation payable in cases of permanent  total  incapacity  and  lump  sums  payable  in  cases  of  temporary  incapacity  shall  be  paid  into Court, and any sum so paid shall, as the Court considers fit, be paid to the person entitled thereto or be invested, applied or otherwise dealt with for the benefit of that person. Any payment to a workman by his employer pending the settlement or determination of the workman’s claim may be deducted, in whole or in part, as the Court may order, from the amount of compensation payable to the workman. The receipt of the  Registrar  of  the  Court  shall  be  a  discharge  in  respect  of  any  sum  paid  into  Court. Orders  and discretions of the Court under section 11 are final.

Notices of Accidents, Report of Death and Medical Examination

[Sections 12, 13 and 14]

Section 12 contains the requirements as to the notice to be given of an accident and the time within an application for compensation must be made.

Section 13 provides for the making of a report by an employer of the death of a workman, to a Labour Officer, as soon as practicable after the occurrence of death.

Section 14 requires an employer to arrange for the medical examination of an injured workman free of charge  by  a  medical  practitioner  named  by  the  employer  or  by  a  medical  practitioner  named  by  a workman  with  the  employer’s  approval.  A  workman  in  receipt  of  periodical  payments  shall  submit himself for such medical examination from time to time as may be required by the medical practitioner instead  of  the  employer  as  was  the  provision  in  Act  174.The  rationale  here  is  that  it  is  the  medical practitioner and not the employer who should determine the frequency of the medical examinations. The section contains a number of other provisions regarding medical examinations.

Agreements as to Compensation

Section 15 contains detailed provisions relating to agreements in writing, concluded after the injury has taken place, between the employer and the workman concerned as to the amount of the compensation to be paid by the employer. The compensation agreed must not be less than the amount payable under the Act. No such agreement shall be binding upon a workman who is unable to read and understand writing in the language in which it is expressed unless it is endorsed by a certificate of a Labour Officer to the effect that he read over and explained to the worker the terms thereof and that the worker appeared fully to understand and approve of the agreement.  Such an agreement may be made an order of Court. The Court may, on the application of either party made within three months after the date of the agreement, cancel it or make such order (including an order as to the sum already paid under the agreement) as in the circumstances the Court may think fit if it is proved

(a) that  the  sum  paid  or  to  be  paid  under  the  agreement  was  not  in  accordance  with  the provisions of subsection (1) of section 15;

(b)  that the agreement was entered into in ignorance of, or under a mistake as to the cause of the injury; or

(c) that the agreement was obtained by such fraud, undue influence, misrepresentation or other means as would, in law, be sufficient grounds for rendering it null and void.

Determination of Claims

Section 16—Under this section an employer may, within twenty-one days after receiving notice of an accident, agree in writing with the injured workman as to the amount of the compensation to be paid. If no such agreement is made, the workman may apply to the Court having jurisdiction in the district where the  accident  occurred  for  the  enforcement  of  his  claim  for  compensation.  All  claims  for  compensation under the Act, unless settled by agreement shall be determined by the Court, and the Court may call upon any  public  officer  or  any  independent  medical  practitioner  to  assist  it  by  his  expert  knowledge  in  its deliberations.

Sections  17  and  18—Section  17  provides  for  a  review  of  periodical  payments  by  the  Court  on  the application of either the employer or the workman.

Section  18  provides  for  the  limitation  of  the  power  of  an  employer  to  end  or  decrease  periodical payments except by agreement or in pursuance of an order of the Court. Under an earlier provision of the Act (section 6) the employer is enabled to end or decrease such payments where the workman leaves the neighbourhood in which he was employed without notice, or without having come to an agreement with the employer, or applied to the Court for the redemption or continuance of the payments. Under section 18 periodical payments may not be ended except by agreement or by an order of the Court (a) where a workman has resumed work and his earnings are not  less than those which he was obtaining before the accident, or (b) where a workman has died. Similarly, periodical payments may not be diminished except by agreement or by an order of the Court (a) where a workman in receipt of such payments in respect of total incapacity has returned to work, or

(b) where the earnings of a workman in receipt of such payments in respect of partial incapacity have actually been increased.

Sections 19, 20 and 21—These sections contain provisions relating to the jurisdiction of the Court, its power to submit questions of law to the High Court and appeals generally to the High Court.

Section 22 deals with the liability for workmen’s compensation in the case of workmen immediately employed by contractors. The substance of the provisions of this section is as follows. The employer of any workman may in the course of his trade or business contract with any other person (the contractor) for the execution by or under the contractor of any work undertaken by the employer. In that case, the workman passes into the immediate employment of the contractor.  The employer, however, remains liable to pay to the workman  any  compensation  under  the  Act  for  which  he  would  have  been  liable  if  the  workman  had continued to  have  been  immediately  employed  by  him.  But the amount of the compensation shall be calculated with reference to the earnings of the workman under the contractor. Where the employer pays the compensation he shall be entitled to be indemnified by any other person who would have been liable independently of the section. The section, moreover, safeguards the right of the workman to recover, in the alternatives, from the contractor if he so desires.

Section 22 does not apply to a contract made by an employer with a person who is granted permission to win minerals receiving a proportion of the minerals won by him or the value thereof.

Remedies against both Employer and Stranger

Section 23 provides that where the injury in respect  of which compensation is payable under the Act was caused under circumstances creating a legal liability  in some person other than the employer to pay damages in respect thereof, the workman may take proceedings against the employer for compensation under the Act and also against the other person for damages. The workman, however, shall not be entitled to recover both compensation and damages. The section also provides that where an employer has paid compensation and any person has paid an indemnity under section 22, both the employer and such person shall be entitled to be indemnified as regards the amount of compensation paid (including costs) by the person  so  liable  to  damages  as  aforesaid.  Any  question  as  to  the  right  to  and  the  amount  of  such indemnity  shall,  in  default,  of  agreement,  be  settled  by  civil  suit  or,  by  consent  of  the  parties  by arbitration under the Arbitration Act, 1961 (Act 38).

Section 24—This section contains a saving for an action by a workman against an employer in certain cases to recover damages against him in any Civil Court independently of the Act, e.g. at common law. These are cases in which the injury to the workman was caused by the personal negligence or wilful act of the employer, or of some other person for whose act or default the employer is responsible.

A  judgment  in  such  an  action,  whether  for  or  against  the  employer,  shall  be  a  bar  to  any  further proceedings in respect of the same injury at the suit of the person by whom, or on whose behalf the action was brought.

An agreement in writing made between an employer and a workman after an injury to the workman as to the amount of the compensation to be paid (section 15) shall be a bar to proceedings independently of the Act by the workman in respect of the same injury. Where  proceedings  are brought  against  an  employer  independently  of  the  Act  and  the  Court determines that the employer is not liable under those proceedings the Court in which the proceedings are brought  may  determine  whether  compensation  under  the  Act  is  payable  to  the  plaintiff  and  assess  the amount of the compensation so payable. In that case the Court may deduct from the compensation any extra costs which, in the opinion of the Court, have been incurred by the employer by reason of the fact that  proceedings  independently  of  the  Act  were  brought  against  him  by  the  plaintiff.  These provisions apply also to proceedings brought on appeal.

Position in the Event of Company going into Liquidation

Section 25—This section provides that where an employer, being a company, has contracted with any insurers in respect of its liability under the Act to any workman, then, in the event of the company being in the process of being wound up, the rights of the company against the insurers in respect of that liability shall be transferred to the workman. In that case the insurers shall have the same rights and remedies and be subject to the same liabilities as if they were the company. But the insurers shall be under no greater liability to the workman than they would have been to the company. If the liability of the insurers to the workman is less than that of the company to the workman he may prove for the balance in the liquidation of the company or recover it from the receiver or manager.

Contracting Out

Section 26—A contract or agreement made at any time whereby a workman relinquishes any right to compensation from any 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 Act.

A workman, however, who has obtained compensation in respect of permanent partial incapacity or permanent  total  incapacity  may  enter  into  a  contract  reducing  or  giving  up  his  right  to  compensation under the Act in respect of any further personal injury by accident if the contract is certified to be fair and reasonable by a Labour Officer.

Compensation not to be Assigned, Charged or Attached

Section  27—This  section  provides  that  compensation  payable  under  the  Act  shall  not  be  assigned, charged or attached and shall not pass to any other person by operation of law, and no claim shall be set off against it.

Medical Expenses and Medical Aid

Section  28—Section  28  provides  that  an  employer  shall  pay  all  reasonable  expenses  incurred  by  a workman within Ghana or outside Ghana if approved by the Chief Medical Officer. In case of dispute, the Court may order the payment of the medical expenses to the person entitled to receive it.

Section  29—This  section  empowers  the  Court  to  determine  the  necessity  for  or  the  character  or sufficiency of any medical aid provided by or to be provided by an employer under the Act.

Section  30—This  section  provides  for  the  prescription  of  fees  and  charges  for  medical  aid  to workmen.

Occupational Diseases

Section 31—The provision with regard to occupational diseases is dealt with by legislative instrument under   this   section.   Thirteen   such   diseases   are   listed   in   the   Third   Schedule   to   the   Workmen’s Compensation Regulations, 1967 (L.I.  546) for workmen’s compensation purposes.  The list contains a description of each disease, how it is acquired, for example by exposure to poisonous substances, and the occupation in which it is likely to occur. The Secretary responsible for Labour is empowered to extend the  provisions  of  the  Act  to  incapacity  or  death  certified  as  caused  by  any  disease  specified  in  an instrument  made  under  the  section. Compensation shall, subject to the provisions of the section be payable as if the disease were a personal injury caused by an accident arising out of and in the course of employment. It must be shown that the disease is due to the nature of the employment, and contracted within a period of twelve months previous to the  date of the workman’s incapacity. The instrument will provide  adequate  safeguards  for  the  interests  of  both  employers  and  workmen,  the  calculation  of  a workman’s earnings, and the contraction of the diseases by a gradual process involving the liability of two or more employers.

Returns by Employers and Insurers

Section 32—The returns to be made by employers, and by insurers carrying on in Ghana the business of insuring employers against their liabilities under the Act are to be prescribed by regulations. Persons required to make returns who fail to do so or who make false returns, or fail to give any information or explanation  required  in  respect  of  any  particular  return  are  guilty  of  offences  under  this  section  and punishable by a fine of fifty cedis in respect of every day during which the default continues. (In Act 174, the fine was five pounds.) There is the usual provision that where the person convicted is a company the chairman or every director or officer thereof resident in Ghana or in the case of partnership every partner thereof resident in Ghana is guilty of a like offence unless he proves that the act or omission constituting the offence took place without his knowledge or consent.

Section   33—Under   this   section,   the   Secretary   responsible   for   Labour   may   make   regulations prescribing procedure, forms and fees by legislative instrument. The Chief Justice too may make rules of court for regulating proceedings before the Court under the Act.

Transfer of Funds as Between Ghana and Other Countries

Section 34—This section provides for the transfer to other countries of sums awarded as workmen’s compensation in Ghana, and the transfer to Ghana of sums so awarded in other countries. This can be arranged by agreements between the countries concerned where the beneficiary of sums awarded within the jurisdiction of one of the parties to the agreement is resident or about to reside within the jurisdiction of the other party.  The sums would, as provided for  in the agreement be administered by a competent authority  in  the  country  to  which  they  are  transferred.  Regulations will provide for the transfer of any moneys at the disposition of the Court in Ghana, and for the receipt and administration by any officer appointed by the Secretary responsible for Labour of moneys transferred to Ghana.

Section 35—This section lays down the time limit within which an employer must pay a workman’s compensation, unless compensation is payable to the Court under the Act.

Section  36—This  is  a  new  section  which  provides  that  the  basis  for  calculating  the  compensation payable to an injured workman is twenty-five thousand cedis. A workman earning more than twenty-five thousand  cedis  per  annum  will  not  be  paid  compensation  in  excess  of  the  twenty-five  thousand  cedis. There is provision, however, for the Secretary responsible for Labour to increase the basis in accordance with changes in workmen’s earnings.

Section 37—This section creates offences and penalties under the Act.

Schedules

The  First  and  Third  Schedules  to  the  Act  have  also  been  amended  by  increasing  the  percentage  of incapacity in certain cases and adding new cases of injury.

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