Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Wezzie Kayira
* Government has currently pumped in a seed fund of MK100 million in the 2022/2023 national financial year
* The seed money is against the estimated total budget of MK1.5 billion for the Fund to adequately operate
By Steven Mkweteza, Correspondent
Malawi Government is now set to roll out the operalization of the Workers’ Compensation Fund later this year, says Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Wezzie Kayira.
At a sensitization workshop on the establishment of the Fund organised by Employers’ Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) in Blantyre, Kayira said the government has currently pumped in a “seed fund” of MK100 million in the 2022/2023 national financial year for the Fund to take off the ground this year.
However, Kayira said the seed money is against the estimated total budget of MK1.5 billion for the Fund to adequately operate.
“We are now set to roll out the fund administration,” he said. “Currently, we are engaging with various stakeholders to consult them on the Fund, which will be operated similar to that of pension fund scheme”.
Among others, Kayira said the national consultative meetings target the insurance companies, lawyers, medical officers and employers who will sit in the board of the administration of the Fund.
He added that the Fund will be an autonomous body to harmonise the Compensation Act, saying it “will be distributed after the employers have settled the claims”.
“This will go towards addressing the alarming cases of workers complaints on compensation after injury at the workplace.”
According to Kayira, Malawi is one of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states which hasn’t had a workers’ compensation fund for the past 20 years.
In a separate interview, ECAM’s president, Anne Chavula said the Fund would help to address some of the challenges being faced such as fraudulent claims.
“Fraudulent claims has become common amongst the employers who connive with lawyers, insurance agencies and the medical officers. Therefore, this fund will help to address such cases,” she said.
Chavula said the Fund will also enhance the social protection system amongst the employees, saying: “Decent work is about promoting jobs and protecting people.
“This is enshrined in the Malawi descent work country program number 2 which emphasises on social protection,” Chavula said.
ECAM was established to promote, protect and give guide the interests of employers in the country under Labour Relations Act of 1996.