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BRITISH WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT OF 1906.
In the following pages is given in full the text of the British Workmen's Compensation Act of 1906, enacted December 21, 1906, to take effect July 1, 1907. It is given here to show the present provisions of the British law in regard to the compensation of workmen for injuries received in their employment:
An Act to consolidate and amend the law with respect to compensation to work
men for injuries suffered in the course of their employment [21st December, 1906).
Be it enacted by
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of thc same, as follows:
1.-(1) If in any employment personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment is caused to a workman, his 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 one week from earning full wages at the work at which he was employed :
(0) When the injury was caused by the personal negligence or willful 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 proceedings independently 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 independently of this act, except in case of such personal negligence or willful act as aforesaid :
(c) If it is proved that the injury to a workman is attributable to the serious and willful misconduct of that workman, any compensation claimed in respect of that injury shall, unless the injury results in death or serious and permanent disablement, be disa llowed.
(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 person injured is a workman to whom this act applies), or as to the amount or duration of compensation under this act, the question, if not settled by agree ment, 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 so choose, proceed to assess such compensation, but may deduct from such compensation all or part of 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 subsection, 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 bave the force and effect of an award under this act,
(5) Nothing in this act shall affect any proceeding for a fine under the enactments relating to mines, factories, or workshops, or the application of any such fine.
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
(a) 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, or would not, if a notice or an amended notice were then given and the hearing postponed, be prejudiced in his defense by the want, defect, or inaccuracy, or that such want, defect, or inaccuracy was occasioned by mistake, absence from the l'nited Kingdom, or other reasonable cause; and
(b) the failure to make a claim within the period above specified shall not be a bar to the maintenance of such proceedings if it is found that the failure was occasioned by mistake, absence from the l'nited Kingdom, 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 the accident happened, and shall be served on the employer, or, if there is more than one employer, upon one of such employers.
(3) The notice may be served by delivering the same at, or sending it by post in a registered letter addressed to, the residence or place of business of the person on whom it is to be served.
(4) Where the employer is a body of persons, corporate or unincorporate, the notice 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, provides scales of compensation not less favorable to the workmen and their dependents than the corresponding scales contained in this act, and that, where the scheme provides for contributions by the workmen, the scheme confers benefits at least equivalent to those contributions, in addition to the benefits to which the workmen would have been entitled under this act, and that a majority (to be ascertained by ballot) of the workmen to whom the scheme is applicable are in favor of such scheme, the employer may, whilst the certificate is in force, contract with any of his workmen that 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 of not less than five years, and may from time to time renew with or without modifications such a certificate to expire at the end of the period for which it is renewed.
(3) Yo scheme shall be so certified which contains an obligation upon the workmen to join the scheme as a condition of their hiring, or which does not contain provisions enabling a workman to withdraw from the scheme.
(4) If complaint is made to the registrar of friendly societies by or on behalf of the workmen of any employer that the benefits conferred by any scheme no longer conform to the conditions stated in subsection (1) of this section, or that the provisions of such scheme are being violated, or that the scheme is not being fairly administered, or that satisfactory reasons exist for revoking the certificate, the registrar shall examine into the complaint, and, if satisfied that good cause exist for such complaint, shall, unless the cause of complaint is removed, revoke the certificate.
(5) When a certificate is revoked or expires, any moneys or securities held for the purpose of the scheme shall, after due provision has been made to discha'
the liabilities already accrued, 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.
(8) The chief registrar of friendly societies may make regulations for the purpose of carrying this section into effect.
4.-(1) Where any person (in this section referred to as the principal), in the course of or for the purposes of his trade or business, contracts with any other person (in this section referred to as the contractor) for the execution by or under the contractor of the whole or any part of any work undertaken by the principal, the principal shall be liable to pay to any workman employed in the execution of the work any compensation under this act which he would have been liable to pay if that workman had been immediately employed by him; and where compensation is claimed from or proceedings are taken against the principal, then, in the application of this act, references to the principal shall be substituted for references to the employer, except that the amount of compensation shall be calculated with reference to the earnings of the workman under the employer by whom he is immediately employed :
Provided that, where the contract relates to threshing, plowing, or other agricultural work, and the contractor provides and uses machinery driven by mechanical power for the purpose of such work, he and he alone shall be liable under this act to pay compensation to any workman employed by him on such work.
(2) Where the principal is liable to pay compensation under this section, he shall be entitled to be indemnified by any person who would have been liable to pay compensation to the workman independently of this section, and all questions as to the right to and amount of any such indemnity shall in default of agreement be settled by arbitration under this act.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing a workman recovering compensation under this act from the contractor instead of the principal.
(4) This section shall not apply in any case where the accident occurred elsewhere than on, or in, or about premises on which the principal has undertaken to execute the work or which are otherwise under his control or management.
5.-(1) Where any employer has entered into a contract with any insurers in respect of any liability under this act to any workman, 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 in the event of the company having commenced to be wound up, the rights of the employer against the insurers as respects that liability shall, notwithstanding anything in the enactments relating to bankruptcy and the winding up of companies, be transferred to and vest in the workman, and upon any such transfer the insurers shall have the same rights and remedies and be subject to the same liabilities as if they were the employer, so however that the insurers shall not be under any greater liability to the workman than they would have been under to the employer.
(2) If the liability of the insurers to the workman is less than the liability of the employer to the workman, the workman may prove for the balance in the bankruptcy or liquidation.
(3) There shall be included among the debts which under section one of the Preferential Payments in Bankruptcy Act, 1888, and section four of the Preferential Payments in Bankruptcy (Ireland) Act, 1889, are in the distribution of the property of a bankrupt and in the distribution of the assets of a company being wound up to be paid in priority to all other debts, the amount, not exceeding in any individual case one hundred pounds [$486.65), due in respect of any compensation the liability wherefor accrued before the date of the receiving order or the date of the commencement of the winding up, and those acts and the Preferential Payments in Bankruptcy Amendment Act, 1897, shall have effect accordingly. Where the compensation is a weekly payment, the amount due in respect thereof shall, for the purposes of this provision, be taken to be the amount of the lump sum for which the weekly payment could, if redeemable, be redeemed if the employer made an application for that purpose under the first schedule to this act.
(4) In the case of the winding up of a company within the meaning of the Stannaries Act, 1887, such an amount as aforesaid, if the compensation is payable to a miner or the dependents of a miner, shall have the like priority as is conferred on wages of miners by section nine of that act, and that section shall have effect accordingly.
(5) The provisions of this section with respect to preferences and priorities shall not apply where the bankrupt or the company being wound up has entered into such a contract with insurers as aforesaid.
(6) This section shall not apply where a company is wound up voluntarily merely for the purposes of reconstruction or of amalgamation with another company.
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 damages in respect thereof
(1) The workman may take proceedings both against that person to recover damages and against any person liable to pay compensation under this act for such compensation, but shall not be entitled to recover both damages and compensation; and
(2) If the workman has recovered compensation under this act, the person by whom the compensation was paid, and any person who has been called on to pay an indemnity under the section of this act relating to subcontracting, shall be entitled to be indemnified by the person so liable to pay damages as aforesaid, and all questions as to the right to and amount of any such indemnity shall, in default of agreement, be settled by action, or, by consent of the parties, by arbitration under this act.
7.-(1) This act shall apply to masters, seamen, and apprentices to the sea service and apprentices in the sea-fishing service, provided that such persons are workmen within the meaning of this act, and are members of the crew of any ship registered in the United Kingdom, or of any other British ship or vessel of which the owner, or (if there is more than one owner) the managing owner, or manager resides or has his principal place of business in the United Kingdom, subject to the following modifications:
(a) The notice of accident and the claim for compensation may, except where the person injured is the master, be served on the master of the ship as if he were the employer, but where the accident happened and the incapacity commenced on board the ship it shall not be necessary to give any notice of the accident:
(0) In the case of the death of the master, seaman, or apprentice, the claim for compensation shall be made within six months after news of the death has been received by the claimant:
(c) Where an injured master, seaman, or apprentice is discharged or left behind in a British possession or in a foreign country, depositions respecting the circumstances and nature of the injury may be taken by any judge or magistrate in the British possession, and by any British consular officer in the foreign country, and if so taken shall be transmitted by the person by whom they are taken to the Board of Trade, and such deposition or certified copies thereof shall in any proceedings for enforcing the claim be admissible in evidence as provided by sections six hundred and ninety-one and six hundred and ninety-five of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, and those sections shall apply accordingly :
(d) In the case of the death of a master, seaman, or apprentice, leaving no dependents, no compensation shall be payable, if the owner of the ship is under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, liable to pay the expenses of burial :
(e) The weekly payment shall not be payable in respect of the period during which the owner of the ship is, under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, as amended by any subsequent enactment, or otherwise, liable to defray the expenses of maintenance of the injured master, seaman, or apprentice:
(f) Any sum payable by way of compensation by the owner of a ship under this act shall be paid in full notwithstanding anything in section five hundred and three of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894 (which relates to the limitation of a shipowner's liability in certain cases of loss of life, injury, or damage), but the limitation on the owner's liability imposed by that section shall apply to the amount recoverable by way of indemnity under the section of this act
relating to remedies both against employer and stranger as if the indemnity were damages for loss of life or personal injury:
(g) Subsections (2) and (3) of section one hundred and seventy-four of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894 (which relates to the recovery of wages of seamen lost with their ship), shall apply as respects proceedings for the recovery of compensation by dependents of masters, seamen, and apprentices lost with their ship as they apply with respect to proceedings for the recovery of wages due to seamen and apprentices; and proceedings for the recovery of compensation shall in such a case be maintainable if the claim is made within eighteen months of the date at which the ship is deemed to have been lost with all hands :
(2) This act shall not apply to such members of the crew of a fishing vessel as are remunerated by shares in the profits or the gross earnings of the working of such vessel.
(3) This section shall extend to pilots to whom Part X. of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, applies, as if a pilot when employed on any such ship as aforesaid were a seaman and a member of the crew.
(i) the certifying surgeon appointed under the Factory and Workshop Act, 1901, for the district in which a workman is employed certifies that the workman is suffering from a disease mentioned in the third schedule to this act and is thereby disabled from earning full wages at the work at which he was employed; or
(ii) a workman is, in pursuance of any special rules or regulations made under the Factory and Workshop Act, 1901, suspended from his usual employment on account of having contracted any such disease; or
(iii) the death of a workman is caused by any such disease; and the disease is due to the nature of any employment in which the workman was employed at any time within the twelve months previous to the date of the disablement or suspension, whether under one or more employers, he or his dependents shall be entitled to compensation under this act as if the disease or such suspension as aforesaid were a personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of that employment, subject to the following modifications :
(a) The disablement or suspension shall be treated as the happening of the accident;
(6) If it is proved that the workman has at the time of entering the employment willfully and falsely represented himself in writing as not having previously suffered from the disease, compensation shall not be payable;
(c) The compensation shall be recoverable from the employer who last employed the workman during the said twelve months in the employment to the nature of which the disease was due:
(i) the workman or his dependents if so required shall furnish that employer with such information as to the names and addresses of all other employers who employed him in the employment during the said twelve months as he or they may possess, and, if such information is not furnished, or is not sufficient to enable that employer to take proceedings under the next following proviso, that employer upon proving that the disease was not contracted whilst the workman was in his employment shall not be liable to pay compensation; and
(ii) if that employer alleges that the disease was in fact contracted whilst the workman was in the employment of some other employer, and not whilst in his employment, he may join such other employer as a party to the arbitration, and if the allegation is proved that other employer shall be the employer from whom the compensation is to be recoverable; and
(iii) if the disease is of such a nature as to be contracted by a gradual process, any other employers who during the said twelve months employed the workman in the employment to the nature of which the disease was due shall be liable to make the employer from whom compensation is recoverable such contributions as, in default of agreement, may be determined in the arbitration under this act for settling the amount of the compensation ;
(d) The amount of the compensation shall be calculated with reference to the earnings of the workman under the employer from whom the compensation is recoverable;
(c) The employer to whom notice of the death, disablement, or suspension is to be given shall be the employer who last employed the workman during the said twelve months in the employment to the nature of which the disease was due, and the
may be given notwithstanding that the workman has voluntarily !