Cape Verde Law Firm | Carla Monteiro & Associados - Legal Regime of Mandatory Insurance for Work Accidents and Professional Diseases


Thursday, 26 May 2022

Legal Regime of Mandatory Insurance for Work Accidents and Professional Diseases

An Accident at work is considered to be one that occurs at the place and time of work and directly or indirectly produces bodily injury, functional disturbance or illness that results in reduced work capacity or earnings or death.

Occupational illness means any functional disturbance or acute or chronic illness caused by work and the conditions in which it takes place.

Beneficiaries of compulsory insurance for accidents at work and occupational diseases:

  • Dependent workers, on behalf of others, in any activity for profit or not, regardless of the form of remuneration and professional category;
  • Apprentices, occasional, temporary and interns;
  • Workers who perform voluntary work, provided that the services provided result in economic benefit for the employer;
  • Self-employed workers, considered as such workers who carry out an autonomous professional activity, without legal or factual subordination to a contracting entity;
  • The members of production cooperatives, when exercising a professional activity in them;
  • Those who, considering themselves to be economically dependent on the person served for whose benefit they provide services, provide, together or in isolation, determining service.

The above mentioned beneficiaries are also entitled to reparation.

The equalization of national and foreign workers, as well as the coverage of Cape Verdean workers abroad

Foreign workers who work in Cape Verde are treated as Cape Verdean workers.

This equivalence is extended to members of the victim’s household who are entitled to compensation.

Mischaracterization of the work accident

The employer is under no obligation to compensate for damage resulting from accidents that:

  • Is intentionally provoked by the victim or comes from his act or omission;
  • It comes exclusively from the gross negligence of the victim;
  • Result from the permanent or accidental deprivation of the use of reason by the victim;
  • Whether due to riots, alterations of public order or facts of a similar nature;
  • Occur due to force majeure

Participation in the work accident

The employer and the victim or their family members must report the accident to the insurer within forty-eight hours after they become aware of it.

Failure by the employer to participate within the period indicated above constitutes a very serious offence, without prejudice to the employer’s liability for damages resulting from the absence or late participation in the accident, with the insurer having the right of recourse against it for what have paid

Culpable performance of the employer

In the event of negligence on the part of the employer and without prejudice to the reimbursement of non-pecuniary and non-property damages, as well as other benefits due for negligence, an annual pension or daily indemnity is due, intended to repair the reduction in the capacity to pay work or gain or death, fixed according to the following rules:

  • In cases of absolute permanent incapacity for any and all work, or absolute temporary incapacity, and death, equal to the remuneration;
  • In cases of absolute permanent incapacity for usual work, it is comprised between 70% and 100% of the reference remuneration, according to the greater or lesser residual functional capacity for the exercise of another compatible profession;
  • In cases of partial, permanent or temporary disability, based on the reduction in capacity resulting from the accident.

Without prejudice to specific legislation, occupational diseases are equated with accidents at work.

Cape Verde Law Firm | Carla Monteiro & Associados - Legal Regime of Mandatory Insurance for Work Accidents and Professional Diseases

Nature, determination and degree of disability

The work accident can determine temporary or permanent incapacity for work. Temporary incapacity can be partial or absolute. Permanent incapacity can be partial, absolute for usual work or absolute for any and all work.


The right to compensation comprises the following benefits:

  • In kind: medical, surgical, pharmaceutical and hospital services and other ancillary or complementary services, whatever their form, provided that they are necessary and adequate for the restoration of the victim’s state of health and work capacity and for his or her recovery for the active life.
  • In cash: compensation for temporary total or partial incapacity to work, lifetime pension corresponding to the reduction in the ability to work in the event of permanent incapacity, pensions for the victim’s family and funeral expenses in the event of death.

Pensions must be updated whenever the variation in the cost of living justifies it and the financial balance of the system allows it.

The payment of remuneration or income on the day on which the accident at work occurs is the responsibility of the employer or contracting entity, respectively.

Benefits for absolute temporary incapacity

In the case of absolute temporary incapacity, the victim is entitled to compensation of 60% of the reference remuneration during the first fourteen days of incapacity and 80% of the same remuneration in the remaining days. In cases of hospitalization or if the victim’s subsistence expenses are borne by the insurance company, the compensation for absolute temporary incapacity is reduced to 50% of the reference remuneration. If the victim has family expenses, the compensation, in the previous cases, is 80% of the reference remuneration.

Benefit for partial temporary incapacity

In the case of partial temporary incapacity, the compensation is 30% of the reference salary. During the period of partial temporary incapacity, employers are obliged to occupy the respective workers and functions compatible with the degree and nature of the incapacity, following the guidance that may be given by the medical services in charge of the treatment.

Benefit for absolute permanent incapacity

In the case of absolute permanent incapacity for work, the pension is equal to 80% of the reference salary.

Pension for partial permanent disability

In the case of partial permanent incapacity, the pension is reduced proportionately on 80% of the reference salary.

Funeral expense allowance

The subsidy for funeral expenses is equal to the amount of expenses incurred with it, with the limit provided for the social security, increasing to double if there is a transfer.


The widower is entitled to a pension of 60% of the reference salary, as long as the widowhood remains.

Surviving spouse entitled to alimony

The surviving spouse, divorced or legally separated at the time of the accident, is entitled to a pension of 60% of the reference remuneration and under the same conditions as a widower, with the right to maintenance.

Pension for descendants

Each child, including unborn children and those who were legally adopted at the time of the accident, is entitled to a pension of 30% of the reference salary.

The same right applies to minors who on the date of the victim’s death lived with him/her in communion of table and room, depending on the victim’s sustenance and education.

Pension for ascendants and siblings

Ascendants, as well as siblings up to the age of sixteen, provided that the victim regularly contributed to their support, are entitled to a pension of 20% of the reference remuneration up to a limit of 30%.

“No job will be so urgent or important that it cannot be safely planned and executed.” (Unknown author)  

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