What if you get Coronavirus at work?

CAPE TOWN- The Compensation Fund will provide financial compensation for employees who become infected with Covid-19 in the course of their work.

Director at Werksmans Attorneys, Bradley Workman-Davies explains how employees may be compensated and who qualifies for benefits.

To qualify, you must have contracted Covid-19 in the course of your employment, following exposure to a known source of the virus.

“Exposure could have resulted from an approved work trip and travel history to countries at high risk for Covid-19 or from working in a high-risk work environment where transmission of the virus is inherently prevalent. It must be shown, chronologically, that the development of symptoms followed the work exposure,” he said.

Workman-Davis says available benefits for employees found to have the virus include:

  • Temporary total disablement benefits if the disablement does not exceed 30 days.  If your employer has placed you in quarantine for suspected Covid-19, they will be liable for your remuneration during that period provided that it is less than a month. If you test positive for Covid-19, and where the Compensation Fund takes over liability, then the Compensation Fund will pay you.
  • Permanent disability. If a health complication arises from having contracted the virus and where an assessment has been made by the Compensation Fund, you will be compensated.
  • Medical aid. You may receive medical aid benefits for a period of no more than 30 days where you have tested positive for Covid-19. The fund may consider further medical aid if it will reduce the extent of disablement.
  • Death benefits. This may include reasonable burial expenses and widow’s and dependents’ pensions, if you die as a result of Covid-19 complications.

The Employer will be required to report in the prescribed manner to the Compensation Fund, as set out in the notice issued by the Commissioner. The notice can be found at here.