Hiring uninsured workers or contractors can mean big trouble for the land owner

By September 6, 2013construction

Every person hired to work in Costa Rica must be provided with two insurance policies. It is mandatory and punishable by law not to insure people you employ. The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, more commonly known as the Caja, provides health policies. Workers are required to have resgos de trabajo, or a “workers’ compensation,” policy registered with the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, known as I.N.S.

It is illegal for any employee to work under your supervision without providing both insurances. It is also prohibited to engage in any work as an independent contractor without proper insurance, coverage for the site, and all employees.

At Manu Prefab all of the workers are provided the proper coverage by I.N.S and by Caja. Manu Prefab respects its workers and adheres to mandatory requirements set forth by the government of Costa Rica. Manu Prefab records and reports a full list of its employees to both institutions monthly.

The reality is that many — if not most — independent people seeking employment at construction sites are neither covered by the mandatory workers’ compensation insurance but neither are the employers. The cycle of those who attempt to circumvent the process of proper insurances both as employer and employee increase the overall danger of site management and building progress.

Insurances that are not accurately up to date become the burden and complication of the owner of the land and or property. Any contractor who is uninsured for accidents or any other claims that occur around the construction site or on the property are exalted from blame and the responsibility is placed on the landowner. Most landowners are not aware that they are accountable.

A claim usually transpires in the following scenario: a worker becomes sick or is injured on the job. He then proceeds to the Caja or INS. They ask him if he is has a policy number. If he does not have insurance he will be treated but in order to recuperate the money for treatment the worker must provide the name and location of where he is employed. The contractor is approached for reimbursement. Unfortunately many crews and their supervisors are operating without proper licensing or funds, which results in the landowner as the responsible party. It is easy for the government to reclaim their costs since the property value is previously recorded.

It is imperative before commencing any project that you safeguard your land investment by confirming that your contractor has I.N.S and Caja coverage and remains up to date on payments and records. Many landowners taking short cuts elect to ignore these regulations. Understandably it does add costs during the building process. The health insurance Caja comes out to 32% of the worker compensation and the I.N.S is 1.25% of the value of the construction. An average construction of $250, 000.00 generates amounts to about $18,000.00 (or 6%) of the construction cost.

Landowners are at great risk of jeopardizing their excellent investment if they chose to ignore the legal requirements of developing their property and the coverage necessary for those working at their sites. At Manu Prefab organization, speed and efficiency become essential to making sure each worker is being maximized during the period of coverage. We take pride in cultivating a strong talented team by offering a safe and secure venue to work.

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