Janjangbureh — Officials of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) recently embarked on a tour of rural Gambia meant to sensitise civil servants in the Central River Region (CRR) on the Industrial Injuries Compensation Fund (IICF).
Speaking during the meeting, the deputy governor of the region, Malang Saibo Camara, applauded SSHFC officials for the awareness creation for civil servants on the IICF, noting that it will help them understand the issues. He called on the civil servants to listen carefully and disseminate the information to those who did not have the chance to attend the sensitisation programme.
Camara noted that some civil servants do not know about the IICF, and explained that the Compensation Act was passed into law in June 1990.
A senior public relations officer at the SSFHC, Ebrima KS Dampha, explained that in June 1990, the government of The Gambia passed into law the Injuries Compensation Act, which effectively improved on and replaced the Workman's Compensation Act of 1940. He said it was not until in July 1996 that the new scheme was formally launched, introducing a social insurance scheme for protection against employment injury.
He further explained that the Act establishing the Injuries Compensation Scheme applies to all employers and workers in government, public enterprises, local government authorities, and the private sector. He added that the Industrial Injuries Compensation Act does not apply to casual workers on piece-meal contracts, domestic workers, and so on.
Dampha lamented that the problem that SSHFC is facing is that the victims do not report the matter on time, noting that the rate of injury compensation is based on the injury. He also disclosed that there is a compensation doctor who presides and decides how much is to be compensated.
Also speaking at the meeting, SSHFC's John Zac Gomez said his institution and the Labour Department are the main administrators of the scheme, with the Social Welfare and Medical and Health as well as the Justice Departments providing specialist support services and advice, and an industrial tribunal.
He explained that upon receipt of a claim filed from the Office of the Commissioner for Injuries, the SSHFC as trustees of the Fund verifies the claim to establish its validity, and pays the injured worker or his/her survivors the compensation due.