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Injury & Compensation


Compensation in case of injury or incapacity


Mr Chan sustained an injury while working at the office and has been granted one month's sick leave by a registered medical practitioner.

What compensation is his employer liable to pay?
Mr Chan may be entitled to the following types of compensation:
- periodical payments
- compensation for permanent total or partial incapacity
- medical expenses
- costs of prostheses and surgical appliances.

Periodical payments
During the period of an employee's absence from work, his employer should pay him a period payment on his normal payday, calculated as:
(Monthly earnings at the time of the accident minus monthly earnings during the period of absence from work) x 4/5
If an employee is granted sick leave beyond 24 months, an employer is not required to pay a periodical payment unless the employee has obtained court approval for an extension.

Compensation for permanent total or partial incapacity
In addition to making a periodical payment, an employer has to pay compensation for any permanent total or partial incapacity resulting from the injury. The amount of compensation is as follows:

Under 40 years old
96 months' earnings(1) or minimum amount of compensation(2) x % of permanent incapacity
40 to under 56 years old
72 months' earnings(1) or minimum amount of compensation(2) x % of permanent incapacity
56 years old or above
48 months' earnings(1) or minimum amount of compensation(2) x % of permanent incapacity

(1) monthly earnings are subject to a maximum figure for the purpose of calculating compensation for permanent total incapacity and for fatal cases of HK$21,000 (Now revised: HK$23,580)
(2) the minimum amount of compensation for permanent total incapacity is HK$344,000 (Now revised: HK$386,110)

Medical expenses and costs of prostheses and surgical appliances
Basically, an employer is liable to pay medical expenses and the costs of prostheses and surgical appliances for medical treatments provided by a registered medical practitioner or dentist in respect of his employee's work injury. An employer shall reimburse the medical expenses, subject to a daily maximum of HK$175, to his employee within 21 days, upon request.

(Now revised: According to Schedule 3 of the Employees' Compensation Ordinance, the daily reimbursable maximum for an employee who has received treatment as an in-patient or out-patient in a hospital is HK$200. The daily reimbursable maximum for an employee who has received treatment both as an in-patient and out-patient in a hospital is HK$280.)

However, an employer will not be liable to pay medical expenses to the injured employee if:
- the employer has provided adequate free medical treatment to the employee or
- the employer has agreed in writing to provide adequate free medical treatment and the employee fails, without a reasonable excuse, to submit himself for such medical treatment.

In addition, according to section 48 of the Employees' Compensation Ordinance, an employer shall not terminate the contract of service or give notice of termination to an employee injured in a work accident, unless the relevant certificate has been issued or the case has been settled.

Q & A about compensation items in the Employees' Compensation Ordinance
Q1 When must an employer notify the Commissioner for Labour of any work accident that results in an employee requiring sick leave?
A1 An employer is required to report as set out in these guidelines:
Days of sick leave Days for notification Form for filing
Not exceeding 3 days 14 days Form 2B
Exceeding 3 days 14 days Form 2
Died 7 days Form 2

Q2 Mr Tam was granted 14 days of sick leave after sustaining an injury when working. Can he obtain the periodical payment as he was back at work on the 10th day of his sick leave?
A2 If Mr Tam worked during the period of sick leave and his earnings were the same as or more than those at the time of accident, he would receive no periodical payment. However, if his earnings were less than those at the time of the accident, he could still receive periodical payment at the rate of four-fifths of the difference between his earnings at the time of accident and during the period of his sick leave.

Q3 Ms Lee, an employee of a Hong Kong company, was injured when she was working in mainland China and obtained medical treatment from a registered medical practitioner there. She would like to know about the availability of compensation for medical expenses under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance.
A3 Wherever the medical treatment is obtained, Ms Lee's employer is required to pay for her medical expenses upon her production of a receipt, subject to a maximum of HK$175 per day if her injury arose out of and in the course of her employment. (Now revised: A maximum of $280 per day as mentioned above.)


Taken from Career Times 05 December 2003

(Last review date: 23 August 2013)


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributor.

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