The Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled) Jenista Mhagama made the observation when speaking at the opening of a one-day seminar to Members of Parliament organized by WCF in the region.
She said since its establishment in July 2015 the value of the fund has increased to 112.83bn/- in 2016/2017 from 65.68bn/- in the 2015/2016 financial year.
Mhagama noted that WCF has so far paid 1.69bn/- in compensation to 1,144 employees who have been injured or incapacitated in the course of employment.
“The fund has successfully conducted 78 public education seminars which were attended by 7,500 stakeholders from across the country”, she said, noting that similar capacity buildingis being offered through the media.
The fund has been investing in a number of projects with the aim of ensuring its sustainability and quality services to employees.
WCF recorded a 10.4bn/- profit in the 2016/17 financial year from its various investment projects, she stated.
Minister Mhagama said that to increase efficiency, the fund plans to open regional offices which among other things will educate employers and employees on the importance of registering with WCF.
She said such education is also offered to doctors since they are the ones conducting medical assessment to accident victims.
“This fund was timely established…there are possibilities of many people being injured as we strive to construct more industries,” she declared.
WCF faces a number of challenges, including shortage of medical personnel and evaluation officers. There are still many people who are unaware of the fund and its importance, she pointed out.
Bariadi East MP, Andrew Chenge (CCM) said the seminar will equip legislators with enough knowledge on the fund, noting that once MPs are fully conversant with WCF activities, it helps them to remedy gaps in existing laws.
“We will now be in a better position to advise the government on various legal issues related to workers compensation,” said Chenge.
The government has been warning employers not to defy the Workers Compensation Act Cap 263.
The legislation requires all employers in public and private sectors with over five employees to register with the fund.
Failure to register with the fund is a punishable offense under section 71(4) of the Act. The offenders are liable to a fine not exceeding 50m/-, five year-jail term or all.