Legal Guide

All Information Regarding the Workmen Compensation Act of 1923 

by Suryansh Kumar · 3 min read

Workmen compensation Act, 1923

Introduction

The Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923 is among the earliest social security legislations in India, enacted to make the employer liable to pay compensation to employees who are affected or to their dependents in case of death. 

  • Compensation is payable in case of injury and accident (including certain occupational diseases) arising out of and in the course of employment and resulting in partial or total disablement or death. 
  • Terms and conditions in the Employment contract are always taken into consideration while applying for the job so that in case of any injury, compensation can be availed. 

What is the Workmen Compensation Act of 1923?

  • The Workmen Compensation Act of 1923 was made by the central government to protect the rights of the worker both from the central and the state governments, in addition to protecting them from the employers of various business sectors. 
  • Due to the high growth of industries and more usage of dangerous pieces of machinery, the chance of accidents increased for the workers under The Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923. 
  • The Government of India was of the view that mostly the unorganized sector is filled with laborers from the underprivileged and economically deprived society, so to protect their rights, this Act was enacted.  
  • The Act applies to a person who is employed otherwise than in a clerical capacity in railway, factories, mines, plantations, vehicles propelled by steam or other mechanical power or by electricity or in connection with loading and unloading work, construction, maintenance and repairs of roads and bridges, electricity generation, cinemas, catching or trading of wild elephants, circus, and other hazardous occupations and other employments specified in Schedule II to the Act under The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923.
  • However, the workman compensation Act does not cover employees who are working in the defense forces such as the army Navy and Air force the country. They are compensated by the government through different laws and schemes as per The Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923.

Calculation of Compensation

  • In case of the death of the employee, an amount equal to 50% of monthly wages multiplied with the relevant factor or an amount of Rs 50,000 whichever is bigger, and also Rs 1000 for the funeral expenses should be provided as per The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923
  • In the case of a total permanent disability, an amount equal to 60% of the monthly wages multiplied with relevant factors or an amount of RS 60,000 whichever is bigger. In case of partial permanent disablement, the compensation provided is the same as above as per The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923.
  • In the case of temporary disablement, A half-monthly installment is equal to 25% of the monthly wages, for the period of disablement or 5 years, whichever is shorter as per The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923.

Important cases 

In India News Chronicle Ltd versus Luis Lazarus,

  • Where a workman was under duty as an electrician to go to the heating room and from there to a cooling room frequently where the temperature was kept low. While on duty the workman went to the cooling room and thereafter fell ill and subsequently died of pneumonia. 
  • The Court held that the ‘injury’ in Section 3 of the Workmen’s Compensation Act does not mean mere physical but may include a strain that causes a chill. It means that the nature or type of injury sustained by the workmen does not matter as long as the injury arises out and in course of the employment. It was held that the death was caused by the employee, not because of employment but because it was a personal injury under The Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923. Also, the Fundamental right in Article 21 was taken into consideration, making compensation a legal aid and human right. 

In Divisional Personnel Officer, SouthernRailway versus Kartiyani, 

In this case, there was a pond near the workplace in which the water was not for drinking purposes as it was polluted but the employees drinking the same died. Kerala High Court held it to be a personal injury and made the employer liable on the ground that it was a part of the duty of the employer to provide safe drinking water to the employees under The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923

In Regional Director, ESI Corporation versus Francis De Costa,

  • Francis de Costa met with an accident while he was on his way to his place of employment. The accident occurred at a place that was about 1 km to the north of the factory at 4:15 pm and the duty shift of Francis de Costa was to commence only at 4:30 pm. Francis was going to the factory and was hit by a lorry belonging to his employer and sustained a fracture in the collarbone under The Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1923
  • His claim for disability benefit was allowed by the ESI Court but was rejected by the High Court, and finally, the case went to the Supreme Court. It was held that, in this case, there was no direct connection between the employer and the employee. Therefore, he was not entitled to compensation under The Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1923

Section 4 under Workmen Compensation Act 1923 – Amount of Compensation 

Subject to the provisions of The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923, the amount of compensation shall be as follow, namely 

  • where death results from the injury an amount equal to fifty percent of the monthly wages of the deceased workman multiplied by the relevant factor;  
  • or an amount of fifty thousand rupees, whichever is more; 
  • where permanent total disablement results from the injury an amount equal to sixty percent of the monthly wages of the injured workman multiplied by the relevant factor; 
  • or an amount of sixty thousand rupees, whichever is more
  • S.3(1)of The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923, holds the employer liable to pay compensation to a workman when: A personal injury is attained by the workman or when An accident is the cause of the injury. The accident occurred out of and during employment

Conclusion

The Workmen Compensation Act, of 1923 has made it the responsibility of the employer to provide compensation to workers under them who fall as victims of accidents within the course of employment. 

  • This is regardless of the degree of the accident that could have either led to disablement or even the death of a worker. 
  • The employer stands liable for that. This is the social and economic security granted to workmen. 
  • Workmen Commissioners have been given the mandate to establish the amount of compensation required according to the degree of the accident whenever an application for a compensation is made, and whatever has been already mentioned in the employment contract has to be fulfilled.

Workmen Compensation Act talks about the compensation which is received by a workman in case of an injury or death which arises during the course of employment. To know more about the Workman Compensation Act, please take advice from a lawyer.

Suryansh Kumar

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Suryansh Kumar

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