Employer's Liability for Compensation
Section 3 of the Workmen's compensation act states that for any personal injury caused to a worker while discharging his duty in the course of his employment, the employer shall be subject to reimburse the appropriate compensation.
However, the employer shall not be liable or subject to pay any compensation if the injury is caused under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, the employer shall not be liable if the employee refused to follow the safety measures. Therefore, it is important to analyse the liability of employees in order to measure the compensation amount for the workers.
Compensation for Workers
Let us discuss the type of compensation that a worker is entitled to in different circumstances.
The employer is liable to pay the appropriate compensation to the family of the deceased worker, who died while discharging his duties. The amount must be equivalent to 50% of the monthly wage of the worker. INR 8,000 is the minimum amount that should be granted to the family of workers. Further, the amount can be multiplied by the relevant factors and compared to INR 1,40,000. Therefore, the higher amount shall be payable to the family of the deceased worker.
Permanent Total Disability
Compensation, under permanent partial disability, is calculated on the capacity of loss of earnings of an employee. In some cases, the compensation specifically depends on the assessment conducted by a qualified medical practitioner.
In temporary disablement, the employer is obligated to pay half of the monthly salary to the worker. The employer may wait for a period of three days to determine the appropriate compensation payable to the worker.
The employer is not liable to pay for every injury caused to a worker. He may be exonerated from some specific liabilities.
Let us discuss some circumstances where the worker shall be liable for the injury caused.
Doctrine of Added Peril
This doctrine states that when the worker performs a duty which is not required to be performed by him, and is prone to severe risk, the employer shall not be liable for such injuries. The worker performs such task at his own risk. In Devidayal Ralyaram V. Secretary of State, the court added the doctrine of added peril as a defence for the employer, which exonerates them from paying any compensation.
The personal injury is subject to compensation. At the same time, there are some exceptions which must be noted. The injury must be physical. If an employee is discriminated on the basis of age, colour, sex, disability, nationality, marriage, etc, no compensation can be claimed under the workmen compensation act.
In Richmond Adult Community College V. McDougall, the petitioner was suffering from a mental disorder. He was offered a job in the college. However, when the authority came to know about his psychological disorder, the authority withdrew the job offer. The petitioner brought the discrimination claim for disability. However, the court rejected the claim as the injury does not fall under section 1 of the Disability Discrimination Act, 1995. Further, there is no provision for compensation under the Workmen Compensation Act.
The employer owns a duty to provide appropriate compensation to the worker who suffers from a bodily injury. If the employee fails to provide compensation to the worker, the court may impose a penalty of 6% interest per annum. Further, the employer may subscribe to workmen's compensation insurance in order to escape liability.