Workers’ compensation

Overview of Workers’ Compensation
– Workers compensation provides wage replacement and medical benefits to injured employees.
– It is a form of insurance that requires employees to give up their right to sue their employer for negligence.
– The compensation bargain solves the problem of employers becoming insolvent due to high damage awards.
– The system of collective liability ensures security of compensation to workers.
– Workers compensation can include weekly payments, compensation for economic loss, reimbursement of medical expenses, and benefits for dependents of deceased workers.

Origin and International Comparison
– The Workers Accident Insurance system implemented by Otto von Bismarck in 1884 is often seen as a model for workers compensation.
– Development of compensation laws worldwide was influenced by transnational networks among policymakers and social scientists.
– Each country’s deliberation on compensation laws was informed by deliberation in other countries.
– Different countries have their own unique history of workers compensation.
– Compensation laws developed globally as a phenomenon.

Statutory No-Fault Compensation
– Workers compensation statutes aim to eliminate the need for litigation and common law remedies.
– Employees give up the potential for pain-and-suffering awards in exchange for not proving their employer’s legal fault.
– The laws provide monetary awards for loss of wages, permanent physical impairments, and medical expenses.
– Benefits are also available for dependents of workers killed in work-related accidents.
– Some laws limit the amount an injured employee can recover and eliminate co-workers’ liability in most accidents.

Common Law Remedies
– Common law imposes obligations on employers to provide a safe workplace, tools, warnings, and assistance to workers.
– Claims under common law for worker injury are limited by three defenses: fellow servant doctrine, contributory negligence, and assumption of risk.
– The fellow servant doctrine holds employers harmless for injuries caused by a peer of the injured worker.
– Contributory negligence allows employers to be held harmless if the injured employee failed to use adequate precautions.
– Assumption of risk holds employers harmless if the injured employee voluntarily accepted the risks associated with the work.

Workers’ Compensation in Different Countries
Australia: Each territory has its own legislation and governing body, such as WorkSafe Victoria and the National Social Insurance Institute.
– Canada: Workers compensation is introduced in different provinces with varying rules and plays a role in ensuring workplace safety.
– Germany: Germany’s workers compensation law, initiated by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, was the first of its kind in the world and provides benefits to injured workers and their dependents.
– India: The Workmens Compensation Act 1923 covers employees under the Workmen Compensation Act, the Fatal Accident Act, and common law.
– Italy: Workers compensation insurance is mandatory and provided by the Istituto nazionale per lassicurazione contro gli infortuni sul lavoro.
– Japan: Workers accident compensation insurance is paired with unemployment insurance and managed by the Labor Standards Office.
– Malaysia: The Workmens Compensation Act, 1952 is modeled on the United Kingdom’s Workmens Compensation Act 1906 and is used by non-Malaysian workers.
– Mexico: The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) manages the Work Risks Insurance, and public sector workers are covered by similar social security agencies.
– New Zealand: Companies in New Zealand must pay a levy to the Accident Compensation Corporation, which provides financial compensation and support to injured individuals.
– United Kingdom: Workers’ compensation laws have evolved over time, starting with the Workmens Compensation Act 1897 and now overseen by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
United States: Workers compensation is compulsory in most states, with Texas being the exception, and employers can purchase insurance or engage in self-insurance.Sources: