Employer's Liability {continued) - Claiming Compensation - The Conditions upon which Compensation is Awarded - How the Employer may Protect Himself

An outworker is not a person who works out of doors, but is one to whom articles or materials are given to be worked upon at home or on premises not under the control of the person giving out the articles. The example which will most readily occur is that of the laundress who conveys away the linen weekly for the purpose of washing it. Other examples are that of the dressmaker to whom is supplied materials for a dress to be made or altered by her, and the shoemaker to whom boots are entrusted to be soled and heeled. If an accident occurs to any of these persons while washing or altering or mending the articles in question no responsibility is incurred by the people who gave out the work.

A Week's Disablement

To entitle the workman or servant to recover compensation under the Employer's Liability Act, the injury from which he is suffering must have disabled him for at least one week from earning full wages at the work on which he was employed.

Serious And Wilful Misconduct

Even if it is proved that the injury to a workman is owing to his serious and wilful misconduct, he will be entitled to compensation if the injury results in serious and permanent disablement or death.

Time for Taking Proceedings

Notice must be given, as soon as practicable after the accident, to the employer by delivering it at his-address or posting it in a registered letter, and the claim for compensation is to be made within six months from the date of the occurrence. The notice must give the name and address of the person injured, and state in ordinary language the cause of the injury.

The want of proper notice, or the failure to make a claim within the specified period, is not to be a bar to the maintenance of proceedings for settling the claim, if the employer is not prejudiced by receiving an amended notice and having the hearing postponed, and if mistake, absence from the United Kingdom, or some other reasonable cause accounts for the omission or delay injury Caused by Stranger

Where the injury is caused to workman or servant by some person other than the employer, if it is caused by the personal negligence or wilful act of some person for whom the employer is responsible, the workman has the option of claiming compensation under this Act, or taking proceedings independently, but the employer will not be liable in both cases. And where there is a legal liability for some person other than the employer to pay damages, the workman may take proceedings both against that person for damages and against his employer for compensation, but is not entitled to receive both. Under such circumstances, the employer paying compensation would be entitled to be indemnified by the person liable for damages.

Diseases

As the question might be asked what diseases apart from accidents entitle the workman or servant to compensation under the Act, it may be just as well to mention that the diseases referred to are all industrial diseases, and, with the exception of glanders, diseases which might attack a groom or a coachman, are not such as would affect a domestic servant.

Amount Of Compensation

Where death results, and the workman leaves dependants wholly dependent upon his earnings, the amount of compensation is fixed at 150, or a sum equal to three years' earnings in the employment of the same employer, but not exceeding 300.

Where the dependants are only partly dependent upon his earnings the amount may be less than 150. Where the workman leaves no dependants, the reasonable expenses of medical attendance and burial, not above 10. In case of injury causing incapacity in the case of adults, a weekly payment of not more than 1 a week, and not exceeding 50 per cent, of his average weekly earnings; and after the weekly payments have continued for six months, the liability may be redeemed on the application of the employer by the payment of a lump sum such as would purchase through the Post Office Savings Bank an immediate life annuity equal to 75 per cent. of the annual value of the weekly payment.

One Week's Incapacity

Where the total or partial incapacity lasts less than two weeks no compensation will be payable for the first week; but if it lasts for two weeks or longer the weekly payments will commence from the date of the accident. A workman who has received weekly compensation cannot sue for wages during the period of incapacity, though still in the same employment.

Infant Workmen

In the case of the total incapacity of a workman under twenty-one earning less than 20s. a week, he is to receive 100 per cent, of his average weekly earnings, but not exceeding 10s. per week.

Arbitration

All disputes as to claims, amount of compensation, etc., are to be settled by arbitration, or, if the parties fail to agree as to an arbitrator, by a county court judge. No workman or servant can agree to contract himself out of the benefit of the Act, and a contract or agreement to this effect would be set aside as invalid.

How Employers can Protect Themselves

No employer can afford to disregard the risk of an accident happening to one of his servants, and the only means of avoiding the payment of compensation, which might be ruinous, is to insure against the consequences of the Act.