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week at the time of his death. The highest amount under the Act of 1880 is three years' average wages of a worker in the same trade, grade, and district, as the worker killed. Therefore, an action under the Act of 1880 should only be started if the workman's wages were at least £ 2 ios. a week ; and even then, as the full amount of three years' wages, viz., £390, may not be obtained, it is only when the employer or his foreman is clearly and seriously to blame, that the expense and uncertainty of such an action should be risked.
Where the workman is injured he can, under the Compensation Act, only get at most a weekly amount of £1. This is liable to alteration, and after six months the employer may pay a lump sum instead of continuing the weekly payment. Now, £a week is only to be paid if the injured workman's wages are at least 62. It may, therefore, be said that actions under the Act of 1880 for injuries should only be started
(i) if the workman's wages were £ 2 ios. a week ;
(ii) if the action is almost certain to be successful because of the employer or his foreman being clearly and seriously to blame; and
(iii) if the workman's injuries are very serious and likely to continue for some considerable period or for life.
These conditions are, of course, arbitrary ; but probably a judge and jury would be influenced very much by calculating what a man could get under the new law. But, if a counter prejudice, caused by the injuries and the circumstances of the accident, can be raised in their minds, they may be inclined to penalize the employer.
If (ii) and (iii) are not present in the facts, the limit of wages in (i) should be raised to £ 3.
General Advice. The Trade Union secretary and members of a workman's family may now appear at an arbitration under the Act, as has been mentioned on p. 8. They should, therefore, obtain the names and addresses, at least, of those present at an accident. If those persons would write down a short account of what they recollect of the matter it would be very valuable in the event of subsequent proceedings, whether under the Compensation Act or otherwise.
In cases of permanent injury, such as the loss of an eye, or a hand or leg, where compensation will be required for life, it will generally be wise to employ a solicitor.
TEXT OF THE WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT, 1900.
(Which extends the principal Act to Agricultural Laborers.) 1.-(1) From and after the commencement of this Act, the Workmen's Compense ation Act, 1897, shall apply to the employment of workmen in agriculture by any employer who habitually employs one or more workmen in such employment.
(2) Where any such employer agrees with a contractor for the execution by or under that contractor of any work in agriculture, section four of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1897, shall apply in respect of any workman employed in that work us if that employer were an undertaker within the ineaning of thai Act.
Provided that, where the contractor provides and uses machinery driven by mechanical power for the purpose of threshing, ploughing, or other agricultural work, be, and he alone, shall be liable under this Act to pay compensation to any workman employed by him on such work.
(3) Where any workman is employed by the same employer mainly in agricultural but partly or occasionally in other work, this Act shall apply also to the employment of the workmen in such other work.
The expression “ agriculture" includes horticulture, forestry, and the use of land for any purpose of husbandry, inclusive of the keeping or breeding of live stock, poultry, or bees, and the growth of fruit and vegetables.
2.-This Act may be cited as the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1900, and shall be read as one with the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1897, and that Act and this Act
may be cited together as the Workmen's Compensation Acts, 1897 and 1900.
3.—This Act shall come into operation on the first day of July One Thousand Nine Hundred and One.
TEXT OF THE WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT, 1897.
1.-(1.) If in any employment to which this Act applies personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment is caused to a workman, bis employer shall, subject as hereinafter mentioned, be liable to pay compensation in accordance with the First Schedule to this Act. (2.) Provided that :(a.) The employer shall not be liable under this Act in respect of any injury
which does not disable the workman for a period of at least two weeks
from earning full wages at the work at which he was employed ; (6.) When the injury was caused by the personal negligence or wilful act of
the employer, or of some person for whose act or default the employer is responsible, nothing in this Act shall affect any civil liability of the employer, but in that case the workman may, at his option, either claim compensation under this Act, or take the same proceedings were open to him before the coinmencement of this Act ; but the employer shall not be liable to pay compensation for injury to a workman by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment both independently of and also under this Act, and shall not be liable to any proceedings indepen. dently of this Act, except in case of such personal negligence or wilful
act as aforesaid ; (c.) 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 be disallowed. (3.) If any question arises in any proceedings under this Act as to the liability to pay compensation under this Act (including any question as to whether the employment is one to which this Act applies), or as to the amount or duration of compensation under this Act, the question, if not settled by agreement, shall, subject to the provisions of the First Schedule to this Act, be settled by arbitration, in accordance with the Second Schedule to this Act.
(4.) If, within the time hereinafter in this Act limited for taking proceedings, an action is brought to recover damages independently of this Act for injury caused by any accident, and it is determined in such action that the injury is one for which the employer is not liable in such action, but that he would have been liable to pay compensation under the provisions of this Act, the action shall be dismissed; but the court in which the action is tried shall, if the plaintiff shall so choose, proceed to assess such compensation, and shall be at liberty to deduct from such compensation all the costs which, in its judgment, have been caused by the plaintiff bringing the action instead of proceeding under this Act.
In any proceeding under this sub-section, when the Court assesses the compensation it shall give a certificate of the compensation it has awarded and the directions it has given as to the deduction for costs, and such certificate shall have the force and effect of an award under this Act.
(5.) Nothing in this Act shall affect any proceeding for a fine under the enact ments relating to mines or factories, or the application of any such fine, but if any such fine, or any part thereof, has been applied for the benefit of the person injured, the amount so applied shall be taken into account in estimating the compensation under this Act.
2.-(1.) Proceedings for the recovery under this Act of compensation for an injury shall not be maintainable unless notice of the accident has been given as soon as practicable after the happening thereof and before the workman has voluntarily left the employment in which he was injured, and unless the claim for compensation with respect to such accident has been made within six months from the occurrence of the accident causing the injury, or, in case of death, within six months from the time of death. Provided always that the want of or any defect or inaccuracy in such notice shall not be a bar to the maintenance of such proceedings, if it is found in the proceedings for settling the claim that the employer is not prejudiced in his defence by the want, defect, inaccuracy, or that such want, defect, or inaccuracy was occasioned by mistake or other reasonable cause.
(2.) Notice in respect of an injury under this Act shall give the name and address of the person injured, and shall state in ordinary language the cause of the injury and the date at which it was sustained, and shall be served on the employer, or, there is more than one employer, upon one of such employers
(3.) The notice may be served by delivering the same to or at the residence or place of business of the person on whom it is to be served.
(4.) The notice may also be served by post by a registered letter addressed to the person on whom it is to be served at his last known place of business, and if served by post shall be deemed to have been served at the time when the letter containing the same would have been delivered in the ordinary course of post, and in proving the service of such notice it shall be sufficient to prove that the notice was properly addressed and registered.
(5.) Where the employer is a body of persons corporate or unincorporate, the notiee may also be served by delivering the same at, or by sending it by post in a registered letter addressed to the employer at the office, or, if there be more than one office, any one of the offices of such body.
3.-(1.) If the Registrar of Friendly Societies, after taking steps to ascertain the views of the employer and workmen, certifies that any scheme of compensation, benefit, or insurance for the workmen of an employer in any employment, whether or not such scheme includes other employers and their workmen, is on the whole not less favorable to the general body of workmen and their dependants than the provisions of this Act, the employer may, until the certificate is revoked, contract with any of those workmen thai the provisions of the scheme shall be substituted for the provisions of this Act, and thereupon the employer shall be liable only in accordance with the scheme, but, save as aforesaid, this Act shall apply notwithstanding any contract to the contrary made after the commencement of this Act.
(2.) The registrar may give a certificate to expire at the end of a limited period not less than five years.
(3.) No scheme shall be so certified which contains an obligation upon the workmen to join the scheme as a condition of their hiring.
(4.) If complaint is made to the Registrar of Friendly Societies by or on behalf of the workmen of any employer that the provisions of any scheme are no longer on the whole so favorable to the general body of workmen of such employer and their dependants as the provisions of this Act, or that the provisions of such scheme are being violated, or that the scheme is not being fairly administered, or that satisfactory reason exists for revoking the certificate, the Registrar shall examine into the complaint, and, if satisfied that good cause exists for such complaint, shall, unless the cause of complaint is removed, revoke the certificate.
(s.) When a certificate is revoked or expires any moneys or securities held for the purpose of the scheme shall be distributed as may be arranged between the employer and workmen, or as may be determined by the Registrar of Friendly Societies in the event of a difference of opinion.
(6.) Whenever a scheme has been certified as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the employer to answer all such inquiries and to furnish all such accounts in regard to the scheme as may be made or required by the Registrar of Friendly Societies.
(7.) The Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies shall include in his annual report the particulars of the proceedings of the Registrar under this Act.
4.–Where, in an employment to which this Act applies the undertakers as herein. after defined contract with any person for the execution by or under such contractor of any work, and the undertakers would, if such work were executed by workmen immediately employed by them, be liable to pay compensation under this Act to those workmen in respect of any accident arising out of and in the course of their employment, the undertakers shall be liable to pay to any workman employed in the execution of the work any compensation which is payable to the workman (whether under this Act or in respect of personal negligence or wilful act independently of this Act) by such contractor, or would be so payable if such contractor were an employer to whom this Act applies.
Provided that the undertakers shall be entitled to be indemnified by any other person who would have been liable independently of this section.
This section shall not apply to any contract with any person for the execution by or under such contractor of any work which is merely ancillary or incidental to, and is no part of, or process in, the trade or business carried on by such undertakers respectively.
6. (1.) Where any employer becomes liable under this Act to pay compensation in respect of any accident, and is entitled to any sum from insurers in respect of the amount due to a workman under such liability, then in the event of the employer becoming bankrupt, or making a composition or arrangement with his creditors, or if the employer is a company of the company having commenced to be wound up, sucb workman shall have a first charge upon the sum aforesaid for the amount so due, and the judge of the county court may direct the insurers to pay such sum into the Post Office Savings Bank in the name of the registrar of such court, and order the same to be invested or applied in accordance with the provisions of the First Schedule hereto with reference to the investment in the Post Office Savings Bank of any sum allotted as compensation, and those provisions shall apply accordingly.
(2.) In the application of this section to Scotland, the words “have a first charge upon "shall mean "be preferentially entitled to."
6.-Where the injury for which compensation is payable under this Act was caused under circumstances creating a legal liability in some person other than the employer to pay any damage in respect thereof, the workman may, at his option, proceed either at law against that person to recover damages, or against his employer, for com. pensation under this Act, but not against both, and if compensation be paid under this Act, the employer shall be entitled to be indemnified by the said other person.
7.-(1.) This Act shall apply only to employment by the undertakers as herein after defined, on or in any way about a railway, factory, mine, quarry, or engineering work and to employment by the undertakers as hereinafter defined on, in or about any building which exceeds thirty feet in height, and is either being constructed or repaired by means of a scaffolding, or being demolished, or on which machinery driven by steam, water, or other mechanical power, is being used for the purpose of the construction, repair, or demolition thereof. (2.) In this Act, Railway" means the railway of any railway company to which the Regula
tion of Railways Act, 1873, applies, and includes a light railway made under the Light Railways Act, 1896 ; and.“ railway" and railway
company" have the same meaning as in the said Acts of 1873 and 1896: " Factory " has the same meaning as in the Factory and Workshop Acts, 1878
to 1891, and also includes any dock, wharf, quay, warehouse, machinery, or plant, to which any provision of the Factory Acts is applied by the Factory and Workshop Act, 1895, and every laundry worked by steam, water, or other mechanical power :
· Mine" means a mine to which the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1887, or the
Metalliferous Mines Regulation Act, 1872, applies : “Quarry" means a quarry under the Quarries Act, 1894 . “ Engineering work means any work of construction or alteration or repair of
a railroad, harbor, dock, canal, or sewer, and includes any other work for the construction, alteration of repair of which machinery driven by steam,
water, or other mechanical power is used : “ Undertakers " in the case of a railway means the railway company; in the
case of a factory, quarry, or laundry, means the occupier thereof, within the meaning of the Factory and Workshop Acts, 1878 to 1895; in the case of a mine means the owner thereof within the meaning of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1887, or the Metalliferous Mines Regulation Act, 1872, as the case may be, and in the case of an engineering work means the person undertaking the construction, alteration or repair ; and in the case of a building means the persons undertaking the construction, repair, or
demolition : • Employer " includes any body of persons, corporate or unincorporate and the
legal personal representative of a deceased employer : “Workman ” includes every person who is engaged in an employment to which
this Act applies, whether by way of manual labor or otherwise, and whether his agreement is one of service or apprenticeship or otherwise and is expressed or implied, is oral or in writing. Any reference to a workmen wha has been injured shall, where the workman is dead include a reference to his legal personal representatives or to his dependants, or other person
to whom compensation is payable : “ Dependants" means(a.) in England and Ireland, such members of the workman's family speci.
fied in the Fatal Accidents Act, 1846, as were wholly or in part dependent upon the earnings of the workman at the time of his
death ; and (6.) in Scotland, such of the persons entitled according to the law of Scot
land to sue the employer for damages or solatium in respect of the death of the workman, as were wholly or in part dependent upon the
earnings of the workman at the time of his death. (3.) A workman employed in a factory which is a shipbuilding yard shall not be excluded from this Act by reason only that the accident arose outside the yard in the course or his work upon a vessel in any dock, river, or tidal water near the yard.
8.-(1.) This Act shall not apply to persons in the naval or military service of the Crown, but otherwise shall apply to any employment by or under the Crown to which this Act would apply if the employer were a private person.
(2.) The Treasury may, by warrant laid before Parliament, modify for the purposes of this Act, their warrant made under section one of the Superannuation Act, 1887, and notwithstanding anything in that Act, or any such warrant, may frame a scheme with a view to its being certified by the Registrar of Friendiy Societies under this Act.
9.-Any contract existing at the commencement of this Act, whereby a workman relinquishes any right to compensation from the employer for personal injury arising out of and in the course of his employment, shall not, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to continne after the time at which the workman's contract of service would determine if notice of the determination thereof were given at the commencement of this Act.
10.-(1.) This Act shall come into operation on the first day of July. One thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight.
(2.) This Act may be cited as the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1897.