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Compensation for workers in pipeline

Jul 06 2011 19:03 Sapa

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Johannesburg - A proposed return to work (RTW) policy, which will help ease the plight of workers injured on the job or who sustained a disease while on duty, is in the pipeline, the department of labour said on Wednesday.

"The policy seeks to facilitate a comprehensive therapy that will prepare the worker physically and psychologically while also [helping] the family to deal with his or her new impairment," it said in a statement.

The policy was discussed at a meeting with the board of the Compensation Fund in Pretoria, attended by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, on Tuesday.

An agreed rehabilitation plan was crucial, the commissioner of the compensation fund, Shadrack Mkhonto, told the board.

He added that the employer must take all reasonable steps to provide the worker with or arrange for suitable employment.

Mkhonto said the rationale for introducing a RTW policy for the country lay in the fact that "injured or ill workers lose their jobs and end up depending on disability pensions".

He said the objective of the RTW concept was to "ensure that workers go

back to work at the earliest date following either injury or illness.''

Mkhonto said trade unions, government, employers, employees and service

providers had to realise that the RTW campaign was a shared responsibility meant to boost productivity.

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