WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ORDINANCE

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

Preliminary

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART II

Liability to Pay Compensation

3. Employer's liability to pay compensation for injury suffered by a workman.

4. Employer's liability to pay compensation for certain diseases contracted by a workman.

5. Circumstances in which compensation is payable in respect of any disease.

PART III

Amount of Compensation

6. Amount of compensation.

7. Method of calculating wages.

8. Review of half monthly payments.

9. Commutation of half monthly payments.

PART IV

Payment, Distribution and Recovery of Compensation

10. Persons entitled to compensation.

11. Deposit of compensation with Commissioner in certain cases.

12. Distribution of compensation.

13. Payment of compensation.

14. Variation of Commissioner's order of distribution.

15. Workman leaving Sri Lanka to reside elsewhere.

16. Procedure for recovery of compensation; notice and claim.

17. Form of notice.

18. Notice-book.

19. Service of notice.

20. Power of Commissioner to require statements from employers regarding fatal accidents.

21. Medical examination.

22. Right of workman to recover compensation from principal of contractor under whom he is employed.

23. Remedies of employer against third parties.

23A. Imposition of surcharge on employer for failure to pay compensations on due date.

24. Insolvency of employer.

PART V

Masters and Seamen

25. Special provisions relating to masters and seamen.

PART VI

Appointment of Commissioner and Other Officers

26. Appointment of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners.

27. Appointment of Assistant Commissioners.

28. All officers deemed to be public officers.

29. Protection of public officers.

PART VII

Proceedings before Commissioners

30. Disputes to be settled by Commissioner.

31. Each Commissioner to deal with matters relating to accidents in his local area.

32. Commissioner entitled to assistance of experts.

33. Transfer of case from one Commissioner to another.

34. Form of application to Commissioner for settlement of question in dispute.

35. Powers of Commissioner.

36. Appearance of parties.

37. Method of recording evidence.

38. Costs.

39. Submission of question of law for opinion of Court of Appeal.

40. Civil court has no jurisdiction over matters required to be dealt with by Commissioner.

41. Recovery of amounts due.

PART VIII

Registration of Agreements

42. Memorandum of agreement to be sent to Commissioner.

43. Effect of failure to send memorandum of agreement to Commissioner.

44. Cancellation of registration of memorandum.

PART IX

Insurance

45. Licence to undertake insurance for the purposes of the Ordinance.

46. Commissioner empowered to inspect accounts of licensee.

47. Suspension or cancellation of licence.

PART X

Appeals

48. Appeals.

49. Time-limit for appeals.

50. Costs of appeal.

51. Procedure in appeal.

52. Hearing or submission on question of law.

53. Withholding of certain payments pending decision of appeal.

53A. Appeal to Supreme Court from High Court and powers of Supreme Court on appeal.

53B. Payment of amount deposited along with interest on final determination of the appeal.

PART XI

Regulations

54. Regulations.

55. Amendment of schedules by regulation.

56. Approval of Regulations.

PART XII

Miscellaneous

57. Employer to report to Commissioner accidents to workmen in certain cases and to send annual returns.

58. Compensation not to be assigned, attached or charged.

59. Contracting-out.

60. Injured workman must elect between common law and statutory remedy.

60A. Payment from non-contributory insurance or compensation scheme.

61. Reciprocal arrangements.

SCHEDULE

19 of 1934.

31 of 1957,

22 of 1959,

4 of 1966,

15 of 1990,

10 of 2005.

AN ORDINANCE to provide for the payment of Compensation to Workmen who are injured in the course of their employment.

[Date of Commencement:1st August, 1935]

PART I

Preliminary

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Workmen's Compensation Ordinance.

2. Interpretation.

(1) In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires—

.

["Adult” omitted by s 2(1)(a) of Act 15 of 1990.]

"Commissioner” means any person appointed under section 26 to be or to act as a Commissioner or as a Deputy Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation, and includes any person appointed under section 27 to be or to act as an Assistant Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation;

"compensation” means compensation as provided for in this Ordinance;

"dependant” means any of the following relatives of a deceased workman, namely—

(a) a wife, a minor legitimate son, an unmarried legitimate daughter, or a widowed mother; and

(b) if wholly or in part dependent on the earnings of the workman at the time of his death, a husband, a parent other than a widowed mother, a minor illegitimate son, an unmarried illegitimate daughter, a daughter legitimate or illegitimate if married and a minor or if widowed, a minor brother, an unmarried or widowed sister, a widowed daughter-in-law, a minor child of a deceased son or deceased daughter or, where no parent of the workman is alive, a paternal grandparent;

[Am by s 2(1)(b) of Act 15 of 1990.]

"employer” includes the Republic of Sri Lanka and anybody of persons whether corporate or unincorporated and any managing agent of an employer and the heirs, executors or administrators of a deceased employer, and, when the services of a workman are temporarily lent or let on hire to another person by the person with whom the workman has entered into a contract of service or apprenticeship, means such other person while the workman is working or him;

"local authority” includes a Municipal Council, an Urban Council and a Pradeshiya Shaba;

[Subs by s 2(1)(c) of Act 15 of 1990.]

"managing agent” means any person appointed or acting as the representative of another person for the purpose of carrying on such other person's trade or business, but does not include an individual manager subordinate to an employer;

.

["Minor” omitted by s 2(1)(a) of Act 15 of 1990.]

"partial disablement” means, where the disablement is of a temporary nature, such disablement as reduces the earning capacity of a workman in any employment in which he was engaged at the time of the accident resulting in the disablement, and,, where the disablement is of a permanent nature, such disablement as reduces his earning capacity in every employment which he was capable of undertaking at that time:

Provided that every injury specified in Schedule I shall be deemed to result in permanent partial disablement;

"prescribed” means prescribed by this Ordinance or by any regulation made thereunder;

"Registered medical practitioner” means a person registered as a medical, practitioner under the Medical Ordinance, or under any enactment amending that Ordinance;

"Registered ship” means any sea-going ship or boat of any description which is registered or required to be, registered in Sri Lanka as a Sri Lanka ship;

"Regulation” means a regulation made under this Ordinance;

"seaman” means any person forming part of the crew of any registered ship, but does not include the master of any such ship;

"total disablement” means such disablement, whether of a temporary or permanent nature, as incapacitates a workman for all work which he was capable of performing at the time of the accident resulting in such disablement:

Provided that permanent total disablement shall be deemed to result from any combination of injuries specified in Schedule I where the aggregate percentage of the loss of earning capacity, as specified in that Schedule against those injuries, amounts to one hundred per centum;

[Am by s 2(1)(d) of Act 15 of 1990.]

"wages” includes the monetary value of any privilege or benefit which is capable of being estimated in money, other than a travelling allowance or the value of any travelling concession or a contribution paid by the employer of a workman towards any pension or provident fund or a sum paid to a workman to cover any special expenses entailed on him by the nature of his employment;

"workman” means any person who has entered into or works under a contract with an employer for the purposes of his trade or business in any capacity, whether the contract is expressed or implied, oral or in writing, and whether it is a contract of service or of apprenticeship or contract personally to execute any work or labour and whether the remuneration payable there under is calculated by time, by work done or otherwise, and whether such contract was made before or after the coming into force of this definition, but does not include—

(a) a person working in the capacity of a member of the armed forces of Sri Lanka other than a person employed in a civilian capacity in any of those forces;

(b) a member of the police force of Sri Lanka.

[Subs by s 2(1)(e) of Act 15 of 1990.]

(2) A reference to a workman who has been injured shall, where the workman is dead, include a reference to his dependants or any of them.

(3) The exercise and performance of the powers and duties of any department of the Government, Provincial Council, or of any local authority shall, for the purposes of this Ordinance, unless a contrary intention appears, be deemed to be the trade or business of that department, council or local authority.

[S 2(3) am by s 2(2) of Act 15 of 1990.]

PART II

Liability to Pay Compensation

3. Employer's liability to pay compensation for injury suffered by a workman.

If personal injury is caused to a workman by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, his employer shall be liable to pay compensation in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance:

Provided that the employer shall not be so liable—

(a) in respect of any injury which does not result in the total or partial disablement of the workman for a period exceeding three days;

[S 3 proviso para (a) am by s 3 of Act 15 of 1990.]

(b) in respect of any injury, not resulting in death, caused by an accident which is directly attributable to—

(i) the workman having been at the time thereof under the influence of drink or drugs, or

(ii) the willful disobedience of the workman to an order expressly given, or to a rule expressly framed, for the purpose of securing the safety of workmen, or

(iii) the willful removal or disregard by the workman of any safety guard or other device which he knew to have been provided for the purpose of securing the safety of workmen.

4. Employer's liability to pay compensation for certain diseases contracted by a workman.

(1) If a workman—

(a) contracts an occupational disease described in the first column of Part A of Schedule in whilst he is employed in any process described in the corresponding entry in the second column of that Part or,

(b) contracts an occupational disease described in the first column of Part B of the aforesaid Schedule whilst he is in the service of an employer in whose service he has been employed for continuous period of not less than six months in any process described in the corresponding entry in the second column of that Part,

the contracting of the disease shall be deemed to be an injury by accident within the meaning of section 3, and unless the employer proves the contrary, the accident shall be deemed to have arisen out of and in the course of the employment.

[S 4(1) subs by s 3 of Act 31 of 1957.]

(2) For the purposes of this section a period of service shall be deemed to be continuous which has not included period of service under any other employer.

5. Circumstances in which compensation is payable in respect of any disease.

Save as provide by section 4, no compensation shall be payable to a workman in respect of any disease unless the disease is directly attributable to a specific injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment or the disease is reasonably attributable to the nature of his employment.

[S 5 am by s 4 of Act 15 of 1990.]

PART III

Amount of Compensation

6. Amount of compensation.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Ordnance, the amount of compensation shall be as follows, namely—

(A) Where death results from the injury and the deceased was a workman in receipt of monthly wages falling within limits shown in the first column of Schedule IV-the amount shown against such limits in the second column thereof.

[S 6(1)(A) subs by s 5(i) of Act 15 of 1990.]

(B) Where permanent total disablement results from the injury, and the disabled workman was in receipt of monthly wages falling within limits shown in the first column of Schedule IV - the amount shown against such limits in the third column thereof.

[S 6(1)(B)subs by s 5(ii) of Act 15 of 1990.]

(C) Where permanent partial disablement results from the injury—

(i) in the case of an injury specified in Schedule I, such percentage of the compensation which would have been payable in the case of permanent total disablement as is specified therein as being the percentage of the loss of earning capacity caused by that injury, and

(ii) in the case of an injury not specified in Schedule I, such percentage of the compensation payable in the case of permanent total disablement as is proportionate to the loss of earning capacity permanently caused by the injury:

Provided that in a case where more injuries than one are caused by the same accident, the amount of compensation payable under this head shall be aggregated but not so in any case as to exceed the amount which would have been payable if permanent total disablement had resulted from injuries.

(D) Where temporary disablement whether total or partial, results from the injury, a half monthly payment payable on the sixteenth day from the date of the disablement, and thereafter half monthly, during the disablement or during a period of five years, whichever period is shorter, in the case of a workman in receipt of monthly wages falling within limits shown in the first column of Schedule IV - the sum shown against such limits in the fourth column thereof:

[S 6(1)(D) am by s 5(iii) of Act 15 of 1990; 2 of Act 10 of 2005.]

Provided that—

(a) there shall be deducted from any lump sum or half monthly payments to which the workman is entitled the amount of any payment or allowance which the workman has received from the employer by way of compensation during the period of disablement prior to the receipt of such lump sum or of the first half monthly payment, as the case may be, and

(b) no half monthly payment shall in any case exceed the amount, if any, by which half the amount of the monthly wages of the workman before the accident exceeds half the amount of such wages which he is earning after the accident.

In a case where for the whole or any part of the period of disablement referred to in paragraph (a) of this proviso, a workman occupies any premises belonging to or provided by his employer and pays no rent to him for such occupation, the amount fixed by agreement between the workman and his employer or, failing such agreement, the amount determined by the Commissioner as a fair rental of the premises for the period of such occupation shall be deemed to have been received by the workman as an allowance by way of compensation from his employer for the purpose of computing the deduction to be made from any lump sum or half monthly payments to which the workman is entitled.

(2) On the ceasing of the disablement before the date on which any half monthly payment falls due, there shall be payable in respect of that half month a sum proportionate to the duration of the disablement in that half month.

(3) The use in this section of the expression ‘monthly wages' shall not exclude any workman from the right to compensation under this Ordinance by reason only of the fact that he is not paid at a monthly rate or that his remuneration is calculated by time or by work done or at a daily rate.

7. Method of calculating wages.

(1) For the purposes of this Ordinance the monthly wages of a workman shall be calculated as follows, namely—

(a) where the workman has, during a continuous period of not less than twelve months immediately preceding the accident, been in the service of the employer who is liable to pay compensation, the monthly wages of the workman shall be one-twelfth of the total wages which have fallen due for payment to him by the employer in the last twelve months of that period;

(b) where the whole of the continuous period of service immediately preceding the accident during which the workman was in the service of the employer who is liable to pay the compensation was less than one month, the monthly wages of the workman shall be deemed to be the average monthly amount which, during the twelve months immediately preceding the accident, was being earned by a workman employed on the same work by the same employer, or, if there was no workman so employed, by a workman employed on similar work in the same locality;

(c) in other cases, the monthly wages shall be thirty times the total wages earned in respect of the last continuous period of service immediately preceding the accident from the employer who is liable to pay compensation, divided by the number of days comprising such period.

(2) For the purposes of this section a period of service shall be deemed to be continuous which has not been interrupted by a period of absence from work exceeding fourteen days.

8. Review of half monthly payments.

(1) Any half monthly payment payable under this Ordinance, either under an agreement between the parties or under the order of a Commissioner, may be reviewed by the Commissioner on the application, either of the employer or of the workman accompanied by the certificate of a registered medical practitioner that there has been a change in the condition of the workman, or, subject to regulations made under this Ordinance, on application made without such certificate.

(2) Any half monthly payment may, on review under this section, subject to the provisions of this Ordinance, be continued, increased, decreased or ended, or, if the accident is found to have resulted in permanent disablement, be converted to the lump sum to which the workman is entitled, less any amount which he has already received by way of half monthly payments.

9. Commutation of half monthly payments.

Any right to receive half monthly payments may, by agreement between the parties or, if the parties cannot agree and the payments have been continued for not less than six months, on the application of either party to the Commissioner, be redeemed by the payment of a lump sum of such amounts as may be agreed to by the parties or determined by the Commissioner, as the case may be.

PART IV

Payment, Distribution and Recovery of Compensation

10. Persons entitled to compensation.

(1) The compensation shall be payable to or for the benefit of the workman, or, where death results from the injury, to or for the benefit of his dependants as provided by this Ordinance.

(2) Where a dependant dies before a claim under this Ordinance is made, or, if a claim has been made, before an agreement or award has been arrived at or made, the heirs, executors, or administrators of that deceased dependant shall have no right to payment of compensation, and the amount of compensation shall be calculated and apportioned as if that dependant had died before the workman.

(3) Where there are both total and partial dependants, nothing in this Ordinance shall be construed as preventing the compensation being allotted partly to the total and partly to the partial dependants.

11. Deposit of compensation with Commissioner in certain cases.

(1) No payment of compensation in respect of a workman whose injury has resulted in death, and no payment of a lump sum as compensation to a woman or a person under a legal disability, shall be made otherwise than by deposit with the Commissioner and no such payment made directly by an employer shall be deemed to be a payment of compensation:

Provided that, in the case of deceased workman, an employer may make to one or more of the dependants advances on account of compensation not exceeding an aggregate of ten thousand rupees, and so much of such aggregate as does not exceed the compensation payable to the dependant or dependants shall be deducted by the Commissioner from such compensation and repaid to the employer.

[S 11(1) proviso am by s 4 of Act 31 of 1957; 3(i) of Act 10 of 2005.]

(2) any other sum amounting to not less than one thousand rupees which is payable as compensation may be deposited with the Commissioner on behalf of the person entitled thereto.

[S 11(2) am by s 3(ii) of Act 10 of 2005.]

(3) The receipt of the Commissioner shall be a sufficient discharge in respect of any compensation deposited with him.

(4) Where any sum has been deposited by an employer as compensation payable in respect of a workman whose injury has resulted in death, and in the opinion of the Commissioner such sum is insufficient, the Commissioner may, by notice in writing stating his reasons, call upon the employer to show cause why he should not make a further deposit within such time as may be stated in the notice.

(5) If the employer fails to show cause to the satisfaction of the Commissioner, the Commissioner may make an award determining the total amount payable, and requiring the employer to deposit the deficiency.

12. Distribution of compensation.

(1) On the deposit of any money under section 11 as compensation in respect of deceased workman, the Commissioner shall deduct therefrom the actual cost of the workman's funeral expenses to—

[S 12(1) am by s 7 of Act 15 of 1990.]

(i) an amount not exceeding ten thousand rupees, where the compensation does not exceed two hundred thousand rupees;

[S 12(1)(i) subs by s 4 of Act 10 of 2005.]

(ii) an amount not exceeding fifteen thousand rupees, where the compensation does not exceed three hundred thousand rupees”;

[S 12(1)(ii) subs by s 4 of Act 10 of 2005.]

(iii) an amount not exceeding twenty thousand rupees; where the compensation does not exceed five hundred thousand rupees;

[S 12(1)(iii) subs by s 4 of Act 10 of 2005.]

If the Commissioner is satisfied, after any inquiry which he may deem necessary, that no dependant exists, he shall repay the balance of the money to the employer by whom it was paid; but no such repayment shall be made until after the expiry of a period of twelve months reckoned from the date on which the money was deposited under section 11. The Commissioner shall, no application by the employer, furnish a statement showing in detail all disbursements made.

(2) Compensation deposited in respect of a deceased workman shall, subject to any deduction made under subsection (1), be apportioned among the dependants of the deceased workman or any of them in such proportion as the Commissioner thinks fit, or may, in the discretion of the Commissioner, be allotted to any one dependant.

13. Payment of compensation.

(1) Where any compensation deposited with the Commissioner is payable to any person, the Commissioner shall, if the person to whom the compensation is payable is not a woman or a person under a legal disability, and may in other cases, pay the money to the person entitled thereto.

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.


Recent Updates

PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015