Answer to a question from a reader

I was shot while working and I did not receive compensation forms. What can I do?

The short answer

Your employer is legally obliged to assist you. If they don't, you can report them to the labour department.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

 My employer did not provide me with the forms for compensation after I was shot four times at closing time when I needed to cash up.

The long answer


The Department of Labour says in its "Compensation fund's injury on dury reporting procedures" document that in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, No 130 of 1993 (COIDA), an employee must report the incident to the employer as soon as possible. It goes on to say that if the employer fails to report the accident (or shooting incident, in your case), the employee has to complete a Notice of Accident and Claim for Compensation (Form W.Cl. 3). All employers are legally required to register with the Compensation Fund.

These are the steps and forms that must be completed:

  • The employer must complete the Employer’s Report of an Accident (W.Cl. 2). The act requires that an accident be reported by the employer to the Compensation Commissioner within 7 days after the accident (or incident) took place.

  • Part B of the employer’s report is a carbon copy of part A and must be given to the employee to give to the doctor or hospital that is going to treat him.

  • If an employer fails to report the accident, the doctor can report the case by sending a copy of Part B to the Compensation Commissioner. The employer will then be subpoenaed to submit Part A.

  • The First Medical Report (W.Cl. 4) from the treating doctor must be submitted to the Compensation Commissioner as medical evidence plays an important part when the Commissioner must decide on liability for the payment of compensation.

  • Progress Medical Reports (W.Cl. 5) should be submitted on a monthly basis to the Commissioner if an employee has to go on receiving medical treatment and is off duty as a result of his injuries. This is to make sure that compensation for temporary total disablement is paid out on time.

The Final Medical Report (W.Cl. 5) – should be submitted as soon as the employee’s condition has become stable. The doctor has to describe how much a person’s functioning is impaired as a result of the accident or incident, so that the Commissioner can assess the degree of permanent disability, if any.  

  • The Resumption Report (W.Cl. 6) has to be completed by the employer immediately after the employee has resumed work. 

  • The employee’s banking details form should be submitted as it will be used to verify the employee’s banking details if the claim qualifies for any compensation.

The Western Cape government website says that while you are entitled to claim compensation if you were injured on duty, claims will only be paid if they are submitted in the correct way and on time. Claims will not be paid if:

  • The claim is made more than 12 months after the accident or death, or after the disease is diagnosed.

  • You are off work for three days or less.

  • The accident resulted from your own wrongdoing (unless you’re seriously disabled or die in the accident. In that case the fund will still pay compensation).

  • You unreasonably refuse to have medical treatment.

Labour Guide says there are five main types of compensation payments:

  • for temporary disability (the worker eventually recovers from the injury or illness)

  • for permanent disability (the worker never fully recovers)

  • for death

  • for medical expenses

  • additional compensation

They explain that compensation is always worked out as a percentage of the wage the worker was earning at the time the disease or injury is diagnosed. The Compensation Fund does not pay for pain and suffering, only for loss of movement or use of your body.

They say that after receiving and registering the claim, the Compensation Commissioner’s office should forward a postcard (W.Cl.55) to the employer. A claim number (reference number) is provided on the postcard (W.Cl.55). This number should be used for all paperwork relating to a claim. When the first doctor’s report has been submitted with the accident report, the Compensation Commissioner will consider the claim and make a decision.

After the Compensation Commissioner has considered the claim, a postcard (W.Cl.56) is sent to the employer. The W.Cl.56 will only be used by the Commissioner when liability is accepted for payment of the claim. Where a W.Cl.56 is not issued, it normally indicates that the Compensation Commissioner has not accepted liability for any payment. If the worker disagrees with the decision, they can appeal the decision within 90 days by submitting form W929 to the Commissioner.

So, in terms of the above, perhaps you should start by filling in the form W.Cl. 3, which, as I have set out above, is the form an employee must fill out if the employer doesn’t fill in the W.C1.2 form. You can download the form. I have also attached a downloaded copy for you.

Perhaps you should inform the owners of the bar that they are legally obliged to report a workplace injury. If they do not assist you, you could report the problem you are having with your employers to the Department of Labour, and ask them to intervene on your behalf.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Sept. 14, 2023, 1:43 p.m.

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