Laws of solomon islands



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LAWS OF SOLOMON ISLANDS
[1996 Edition]
CHAPTER 78
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION
1. SHORT TITLE

2. MEANING OF "WORKMAN"

3. INTERPRETATION

4. APPLICATION TO WORKMEN EMPLOYED UNDER THE CROWN

5. EMPLOYER'S LIABILITY FOR COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR INCAPACITY RESULTING FROM ACCIDENT

6. COMPENSATION IN FATAL CASES

7. COMPENSATION IN THE CASE OF PERMANENT TOTAL INCAPACITY

8. COMPENSATION IN THE CASE OF PERMANENT PARTIAL INCAPACITY

9. COMPENSATION IN THE CASE OF TEMPORARY INCAPACITY

10. ARTIFICIAL LIMBS AND APPARATUS

11. COMPENSATION FOR OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

12. METHOD OF CALCULATING EARNINGS

13. PERSONS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION

14. DISTRIBUTION OF COMPENSATION

15. REQUIREMENTS AS TO NOTICE OF ACCIDENT AND APPLICATION FOR COMPENSATION

16. MEDICAL EXAMINATION AND TREATMENT

17. AGREEMENT AS TO COMPENSATION

18. DETERMINATION OF CLAIMS

19. REVIEW

20. LIMITATION OF POWER OF EMPLOYER TO END OR DECREASE PERIODICAL PAYMENTS

21. JURISDICTION OF THE COURT

22. POWER OF COURT TO SUBMIT QUESTIONS OF LAW

23. APPEALS

24. LIABILITY IN CASE OP WORKMEN EMPLOYED BY CONTRACTORS

25. REMEDIES AGAINST BOTH EMPLOYER AND STRANGER

26. REGULATION TO APPLY TO ACCIDENTS TO SEAMEN EMPLOYED ON SOLOMON ISLANDS SHIPS

27. PROCEEDINGS INDEPENDENTLY OF THE ACT

28. PROVISION AS TO CASE OF BANKRUPTCY OF EMPLOYER

29. CONTRACTING OUT

30. COMPENSATION NOT TO BE ASSIGNED, CHARGED OR ATTACHED

31. REGULATIONS

32. RULES OF COURT



33. REGULATIONS AS TO TRANSFER OF FUNDS
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CHAPTER 78
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION
AN ACT TO MAKE PROVISION FOR COMPENSATION TO INJURED WORKMEN
5 of 1952

2 of 1964

4 of 1968

7 of 1969

LN 46A of 1978

LN 88 of 1978

3 of 1979

1 of 1981

3 of 1982
[1st October 1952]
Short title
1. This Act may be cited as the Workmen's Compensation Act.
Meaning of "workman"

3 of 1979, s. 2
2.-(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires and subject to section 4 and the proviso to this subsection, the expression "workman" means any person who has, either before or after the commencement of this Act, entered into a contract of service or apprenticeship (whether express or implied, oral or in writing) with an employer to work in any capacity, including that of a casual employee or worker:
Provided that the following persons are excepted from the definition of "workman" -
(a) any person who is not employed as a manual labourer and whose earnings exceed such sum as the Minister may by Order prescribe; or
(b) an outworker; or
(c) a tributer; or
(d) a member of the employer's family living in his house; or
(e) any class of persons whom the Minister may by Order declare not to be workmen for the purposes of this Act.
(2) If in any proceedings for the recovery of compensation under this Act it appears to the court that the contract of service or apprenticeship under which the injured person was working at the time when the accident causing the injury happened was illegal, the court may, if having regard to all the circumstances of the case it thinks proper to do so, deal with the matter as if the injured person had at the time aforesaid been a person working under a valid contract of service or apprenticeship.
(3) Except for the purposes of section 17 any reference to a workman who has been injured shall, unless the context otherwise requires, where the workman is dead, include a reference to his legal personal representative or to his dependants or any of them or the Minister or such other officer as the Minister may appoint to act on behalf of the dependants of the workman.

LN 46A of 1978
Interpretation

3 of 1979, s. 3
3.-(1) In this Act unless the context otherwise requires-
"casual employee or worker" means an employee or worker employed on a temporary or irregular basis at an hourly or daily rate of wages payable at the end of each day or on completion of a task or piece of work specified at the time of engagement which said task or piece of work is capable of being completed in a shorter period than the normal working week or the statutory working week (as defined in the Labour Act) whichever is the lesser;
"child" includes adopted child, grandchild, adopted grand-child, stepson and stepdaughter;

2 of 1964, s. 3
"Commissioner of Labour" means the Commissioner of Labour appointed pursuant to the Labour Act and includes a Deputy Commissioner of Labour and an Assistant Commissioner of Labour;

LN 46A/1978
"court" means a Magistrate's Court;
"compensation" means compensation as provided by this Act;
"dependants" means those members of the family of a workman who are wholly or in part dependent upon his earnings at the time of his death, or would but for the incapacity due to the accident have been so dependent, and, where the workman, being the parent or grandparent of an illegitimate child, leaves such child so dependent on his earnings or, being an illegitimate child, leaves a parent or grandparent so dependent on his earnings shall include such an illegitimate child or parent or grandparent respectively:
Provided that a person shall not be deemed to be a partial dependant of another person unless he was dependent partially on contributions from or made on behalf of that other person for the provision of the ordinary necessaries of life suitable for persons in his class and position;
"earnings" includes wages or salary and, unless otherwise prescribed, any allowance in respect of his employment paid to the workman by the employer and the value of any food, fuel, or quarters supplied to the workman by the employer; and any overtime payments or other special remuneration for work done, whether by way of bonus or otherwise, if of constant character or for work habitually performed; but shall not include remuneration for intermittent overtime, or casual payments of a non-recurrent nature, or any ex gratia payment whether given by the employer or other person, or the value of 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;

7 of 1969, s. 2
"employer" includes the Government of Solomon Islands and any body of persons corporate or unincorporate and the legal representative of a deceased employer, and, where the services of a workman are temporarily let or lent on hire to another person by the person with whom the workman has entered into a contract of service or apprenticeship, the latter shall for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to continue to be the employer of the workman whilst he is working for that other person; and in relation to a person employed for the purposes of any game or recreation and engaged or paid through a club, the manager, or members of the managing committee of the club shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be the employer;
"insurer" includes any insurance society, association, company or underwriter;
"medical practitioner" means a medical practitioner registered as such under the provisions of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act;

Cap. 102
"member of a family" means wife or husband, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, stepson, stepdaughter, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, niece or nephew and shall include any child or children, not specifically mentioned, living with the deceased at the time of his death and wholly or mainly dependent upon his earnings and such other person as was at the time of the injury living in the household of the worker and was wholly or mainly dependent upon his earnings;
"outworker" means a person to whom articles or materials are given out to be made up, cleaned, washed, altered, ornamented, finished, or repaired, or adapted for sale in his own home or on other premises not under the control or management of the person who gave out the materials or articles;
"parent" includes adoptive parent, grandparent, adoptive grandparent, stepfather and stepmother;
"partial incapacity" means where the incapacity is of a temporary nature, such incapacity 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 incapacity, and, where the incapacity is of a permanent nature, such incapacity as reduces his earning capacity in every employment which he was capable of undertaking at that time:
Provided that every injury specified in the First Schedule, except such injury or combination of injuries in respect of which the percentage or aggregate percentage of the loss of earning capacity as specified in that Schedule against such injury or injuries amounts to one hundred per centum or more, shall be deemed to result in permanent partial incapacity;

First Schedule
"seaman" means any workman, employed as master, officer, pilot, seaman, engineman, apprentice, stevedoring labourer, or in any other capacity whatsoever on board a ship by the owner or charterer thereof;
"Solomon Islands ship" means-
(a) any ship which is registered in Solomon Islands under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894;
(b) any ship which is owned by a body corporate established under the laws of Solomon Islands or having its principal office or place of business in Solomon Islands, or any ship which is in the possession of any such body corporate by virtue of a charter;
(c) any ship which is owned by any person whose chief office or place of business in respect of the management of that ship is in Solomon Islands or any ship which is in the possession of any such person by virtue of a charter;

57 & 58 Vict. c. 60
"territorial waters" means that part of the sea adjacent to any island of Solomon Islands which is within three geographical miles measured from low water mark of the seaward side of the reef fronting such coast, or, where a reef is not present, from the low water mark of the coast itself;
"total incapacity" means such incapacity, whether of a temporary or permanent nature, as incapacitates a workman for any employment which he was capable of undertaking at the time of the accident resulting in such incapacity:
Provided that permanent total incapacity shall be deemed to result from an injury or from any combination of injuries specified in the First Schedule where the percentage or aggregate percentage of the loss of earning capacity as specified in that Schedule against such injury or injuries, amounts to one hundred per centum or more;

First Schedule
"tributer" means a person who is granted permission to win minerals, receiving a proportion of the minerals won by him or the value thereof.
(2) The exercise and performance of the powers and duties of a local or other public authority shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be the trade or business of such local or other public authority.
Application to workmen employed under the Crown
4. This Act shall apply to workmen employed by or under the Crown in the same way and to the same extent as if the employer were a private person.
Employer's liability for compensation for death or incapacity resulting from accident

2 of 1964, s.4

3 of 1979, s.4
5.-(1) If in any employment personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment is caused to a workman, his employer shall, subject as hereinafter provided, be liable to pay compensation in accordance with the provisions of this Act. For the purposes of this Act, an accident arising out of the employment shall be deemed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have arisen in the course of the employment and an accident arising in the course of the employment shall be deemed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have arisen out of the employment:
Provided that -
(a) the employer shall not be liable under this Act in respect of any injury, other than an injury which results in partial incapacity of a permanent nature, which does not incapacitate the workman for a period exceeding three days from attending at the work at which he was employed; and
(b) if it is proved that the injury to a workman is attributable to the serious and wilful misconduct of that workman, any compensation claimed in respect of that injury shall, unless the injury results in death or serious and permanent incapacity, be disallowed.
(2) For the purposes of this Act, an accident resulting in the death or serious and permanent incapacity of a workman shall be deemed to arise out of and in the course of his employment, notwithstanding that the workman was at the time when the accident happened acting in contravention of any statutory or other regulation applicable to his employment, or of any orders given by or on behalf of his employer, or that he was acting without instructions from his employer, if such act was done by the workman for the purposes of and in connection with his employer's trade or business.
(3) No compensation shall be payable under this Act in respect of any incapacity or death resulting from a deliberate self-injury.
(4) No compensation shall be payable under this Act in respect of any incapacity or death resulting from personal injury, if the workman has at any time represented to the employer that he was not suffering or had not previously suffered from that or a similar injury, knowing that the representation was false.
(5) An accident happening to a workman in or about any premises at which he is for the time being employed for the purposes of his employer's trade or business shall be deemed to arise out of and in the course of his employment and the employer shall be liable to pay compensation if the accident happens while he is taking steps on an actual or supposed emergency at those premises to rescue, succour or protect persons who are, or are thought to be or possibly to be, injured or imperilled, or to avert or minimise serious damage to property.
(6) An accident happening to a workman while he is travelling to or from his place of work as a passenger by any vehicle, ship, vessel or aircraft provided by his employer or operated in the ordinary course of public transport service shall be deemed to arise out of and in the course of his employment. An accident happening to a workman travelling to or from his place of work as a passenger by any other vehicle, ship, vessel or aircraft shall not be deemed to arise out of and in the course of his employment unless the employer has given express or implied permission to use such other transport.
Compensation in fatal cases

2 of 1964, s. 5

3 of 1979, s. 5
6. Where death results from the injury -
(a) if the workman leaves any dependants wholly dependent on his earnings, the amount of compensation shall be a sum equal to thirty-six months' earnings or such sum as the Minister may prescribe by order whichever is less:
Provided that in no case shall the amount of compensation under this paragraph be less than such sum as the Minister may prescribe by order:
Provided further that where in respect of the same accident compensation has been paid under the provisions of section 7 or section 8 there shall be deducted from the sum payable under this paragraph any sums so paid as compensation:
(b) if the workman does not leave any dependants wholly dependent on his earnings, but leaves any dependants in part so dependent, the amount of compensation shall be such sum, not exceeding in any case the amount payable under paragraph (a) of this section, as may be agreed upon or, in default of agreement, as may be determined by the court to be reasonable and proportionate to the injury to the said dependants;
(c) if the workman leaves no dependants, the reasonable expenses of the burial of the deceased workman and the reasonable expenses of medical attendance on the deceased workman, not exceeding such sum as the Minister may prescribe by Order, shall be paid by the employer.
Compensation in the case of permanent total incapacity

2 of 1964, s. 6

3 of 1979, s. 6
7.- (1) Where permanent total incapacity results from the injury the amount of compensation shall be a sum equal to forty-eight months' earnings or such sum as the Minister may prescribe by Order whichever is less:
Provided that in no case shall the amount of compensation in respect of permanent total incapacity be less than such sum as the Minister may prescribe by Order.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), where an injury results in permanent total incapacity of such a nature that the injured workman must have the constant help of another person, additional compensation shall be paid amounting to one quarter of the amount which is otherwise payable under the provisions of this section.
Compensation in the case of permanent partial incapacity
8.-(1) Where permanent partial incapacity results from the injury the amount of compensation shall be -
(a) in the case of an injury specified in the First Schedule, such percentage of the compensation which would have been payable in the case of permanent total incapacity as is specified therein as being the percentage of the loss of earning capacity caused by that injury; and
(b) in the case of an injury not specified in the First Schedule, such percentage of the compensation which would have been payable in the case of permanent total incapacity as is proportionate to the loss of earning capacity permanently caused by the injury.

First Schedule
(2) Where more injuries than one are caused by the same accident, the amount of compensation payable under the provisions of this section shall be aggregated, but not so in any case as to exceed the amount which would have been payable if permanent total incapacity had resulted from the injuries.
(3) The Minister may, from time to time, by notice, amend the First Schedule.

7 of 1969, s. 3

LN 46A of 1978
Compensation in the case of temporary incapacity

2 of 1964, s. 7

3 of 1979, s. 7
9.-(1) Where temporary incapacity, whether total or partial, results from the injury, the compensation shall be the periodical payments hereinafter mentioned payable at such intervals as may be agreed upon or as the court may order, or a lump sum calculated accordingly, having regard to the probable duration and probable changes in degree of the incapacity. Such periodical payments shall be either-
(a) such monthly payment as the Minister may prescribe by Order; or
(b) where the monthly earnings of the workman are less than the amount prescribed by the Minister, the amount of such monthly earnings; or
(c) where the monthly earnings of the workman exceed one and one-half times the sum prescribed by the Minister, two-thirds of the workman's earnings:
Provided that -
(i) no periodical payment shall in any case exceed the difference between the amount of the monthly earnings which the workman was earning at the time of the accident and the amount of the monthly earnings which he is earning or is capable of earning during the period of incapacity in some suitable employment or business after the accident;
(ii) no periodical payment under the provisions of this section shall be at a higher rate than such sum as the Minister may prescribe by Order;
(iii) if the period of incapacity exceeds three days, compensation shall be payable in respect of the total period of incapacity;
(iv) neither the aggregate of the periodical payments nor the lump sum payable under this subsection shall exceed the lump sum which would be payable in respect of the same degree of incapacity under the provisions of section 7 or section 8, as the case may be, if the incapacity were permanent;
(v) where a medical practitioner certifies as necessary on account of the injury any period spent by the workman in hospital or absent from his work, such period shall be regarded as a period of total temporary incapacity irrespective of the outcome of the injury.
(2) In fixing the periodical payments or lump sum payable under the last preceding subsection, a deduction shall be made of the value of any payment, allowance or benefit, including the value of any food, fuel or quarters, which the workman may receive from the employer during the period of incapacity.

7 of 1969, s. 4
(3) In the event of death or permanent incapacity following after temporary incapacity, no deductions shall be made from any lump sum payment under the provisions of section 6, section 7 or section 8 by reason of periodical payments or a lump sum payment having been made under the provisions of this section.
(4) On the ceasing of the incapacity before the date on which any periodical payment falls due, there shall be payable in respect of that period a sum proportionate to the duration of the incapacity in that period.
(5) Where a workman in receipt of periodical payments under the provisions of this section intends to leave the neighbourhood in which he was employed for the purpose of residing elsewhere, he shall give notice of such intention to the employer who may agree with the workman for the redemption of such periodical payments by a lump sum, or for the continuance of such periodical payments. If the employer and the workman are unable to agree, either party may apply to the court, which shall have jurisdiction to order such redemption and to determine the amount to be paid or to order the continuance of the periodical payments:
Provided that any lump sum so ordered to be paid together with the periodical payments already made to the workman shall not exceed the lump sum which would be payable in respect of the same degree of incapacity under subsection (1) of section 7, or section 8, as the case may be, if the incapacity were permanent.
(6) If a workman in receipt of periodical payments under the provisions of this section leaves the neighbourhood in which he was employed for the purpose of residing elsewhere without giving notice as provided in subsection (5) of this section or having given such notice leaves the neighbourhood as aforesaid without having come to an agreement with his employer for the redemption or continuance of such periodical payments, or without having made an application to the court under subsection (5) of this section, he shall not be entitled to any benefits under this Act during or in respect of the period of his absence. If the period of such absence exceeds six months, the workman shall cease to be entitled to any benefits under this Act.
Artificial limbs and apparatus

2 of 1964, s. 8
10.- (1) Where an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment has caused loss of a limb or other mutilation and the supply of an artificial member or members or apparatus (including dental appliances and artificial eyes) will improve the earning capacity of an injured workman, such artificial member or members or apparatus shall be provided at the expense of the employer and the rate of compensation payable shall be reduced in proportion to the improvement in earning capacity resulting from the use of the artificial member or members or apparatus.
(2) The court may order an employer to pay for the replacement or repair of any artificial member or members or apparatus damaged as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of a workman's employment by that employer.

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