LEGAL INFORMATION AND UPDATE
法律快訊

6th Issue (November 2018)

第六期 (2018年11月)

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Employees’ Compensation Relating to Non-fatal Claims – A Reminder

有关非死亡索偿的雇员补偿须知

Introduction

Workplace accident is one of the most common types of accidents in Hong Kong. In light of the issue, the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (Chapter 282, Laws of Hong Kong) (“ECO”) confers on an employee who sustained injuries at work a right to recover compensation from his/her employer. This newsletter shall focus on non-fatal cases and identify the legal rules contained in the ECO and under the common law, then it shall set out the general procedure for employees’ compensation claims.

 

1. Statutory Duty to Pay Compensation

Where, in any employment, personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment is caused to an employee, the employer may be liable to pay compensation. The claim for compensation must satisfy the three main elements listed below.

 

  1.Contract of service

The aggrieved party must prove that he was an employee at the time of injury. The court shall examine the features of the parties’ relationship and decide whether such relationship is, as a matter of overall impression, one of employment (Poon Chau Nam v Yim Siu Cheung [2007] 2 HKC 135). Further, the court takes into account the effect of the agreement, rather than its form (Lam Sik v Sen International Ventures Corp (HK) Ltd [1994] 3 HKC 405).

 

  2. Injury

The aggrieved party must prove that the injury was triggered by an unexpected, unforeseen and identifiable event (Fung So Yin v Shek Hay Yau [2012] HKCU 2600; Fenton v J Thorley & Co Ltd [1903] AC 443). In addition, the accident must cause the injury concerned (LKK Trans Ltd v Wong Hoi Chung [2005] HKCU 688).

 

  3. Accident arising out of and in the course of employment

The “course of employment” covers activities which the employee is employed to do and those incidental to the employee’s work (Charles R Davidson & Co v McRobb [1918] AC 304). When determining whether this element is satisfied, the relevant factors to be contemplated by the courts include the place and time at which the accident took place.

 

2. Procedure for Employees’ Compensation Claims

A simplified overview of the general procedure for a claim of compensation by the employee is summarized as follows:

 

  1. The employee should inform the employer of the work injury orally or in writing as soon as the work injury comes to the employee’s knowledge or is confirmed.

 

  2. The employer should make statutory filing(s) and report the work injury to the Labour Department (“LD”) within 14 days if such work injury results in incapacity.

 

  3. In certain cases, where the LD considers it necessary to arrange medical clearance, the LD shall issue a Medical Clearance Notification to the employee who should bring along all necessary documents and proceed with the medical clearance procedure.

 

  4. In the event that the LD arranges a medical assessment for the employee and it appears that permanent incapacity may result from the injury, the employee may need to attend the Employees’ Compensation (Ordinary Assessment) Board (“Assessment Board”) in order to determine the loss of earning capacity. The employer and the employee shall receive a Certificate of Compensation Assessment (“Certificate”) which states the amount of compensation.

 

  5. The employer must pay the compensation within 21 days from the date of issue of the Certificate. Failure to pay the compensation without reasonable excuse is a criminal offence.

 

3. Assessment of Compensation

The amount of compensation payable shall be assessed with reference to the age and monthly earnings of the injured employee and the nature of the work injury. Further, the employer may be required to pay medical expenses and/or costs of prostheses and surgical appliances.

 

4. Practical Takeaways

  1. The employer and employee should be aware of their statutory obligations with which they must be complied in accordance with the prescribed timeline.

 

  2. The employer should get the insurer involved as soon as possible.

 

  3. Where the parties concerned confirm and acknowledge the needs of each other, they may consider the option of early settlement and agree on the settlement terms as permitted by the applicable laws and regulations to the fullest extent.

 

IMPORTANT

Please note that the information above is a preliminary overview of this specialized area of law. As every case depends on its facts, it is imperative to state that the above does not constitute formal legal advice. We do not accept any responsibility whatsoever in respect of this publication. Should you wish to seek our advice or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you wish to unsubscribe, please inform us by email at mail@allawyers.com.hk.

简介

工伤意外是香港其中一项最常见的意外。有见及此,《雇员补偿条例》(香港法例第282章)(下称“该条例”)赋予在受雇工作期间受伤的雇员向其雇主索偿的权利。本文将集中讨论非死亡案件、识别在该条例和普通法下的相关法规,以及列明雇员工伤索偿的一般程序。

 

一、法定补偿责任

当受雇于任何工作的雇员在受雇工作期间因工遭遇意外以致身体受伤,其雇主须负有支付补偿的法律责任,而索偿必须符合以下三大要素:

1.  服务合同

不满的一方必需证明在其遭遇意外时的身份为雇员。法庭在决定双方整体上是否存在雇佣关系时,将检视双方关系的特征 (Poon Chau Nam v Yim Siu Cheung [2007] 2 HKC 135)。即使相关合同未能证明雇佣关系,法庭仍会考虑双方真正履行合约时的效果,而不是只依赖文字上的表述 (Lam Sik v Sen International Ventures Corp (HK) Ltd [1994] 3 HKC 405)。

2.  受伤

不满的一方必需证明相关伤害是因一个突如其来的、不可预示及可标识的事件所引起 (Fung So Yin v Shek Hay Yau [2012] HKCU 2600; Fenton v J Thorley & Co Ltd [1903] AC 443),而且该意外必须是导致受伤的因由(LKK Trans Ltd v Wong Hoi Chung [2005] HKCU 688)。

 

3.  在受雇工作期间因工遭遇意外

“受雇工作”包括雇员受雇用的主要工作及其他附带的工作 (Charles R Davidson & Co v McRobb [1918] AC 304)。当法庭决定索偿是否符合本项要素时,法庭会考虑意外发生的地点和时间等相关因素。

二、工伤索偿的程序

以下为经简化后雇员工伤索偿程序的概览:

 

1.  雇员知悉或确认工伤后,需尽快向雇主作出书面或口头通知。

2.  若工伤导致雇员丧失工作能力,雇主应在14天内向劳工处报告工伤意外事件。

3.  在某些情况下,如劳工处认为有需要为雇员安排工伤病假跟进,劳工处将向雇员发出《工伤病假跟进通知书》,雇员届时应按指示带同所有有关文件办理相关手续。

4.  如果雇员获安排判伤而结果显示工伤意外可能导致雇员永久丧失工作能力,劳工处会安排雇员出席雇员补偿评估委员会评估,以评定雇员永久丧失赚取收入能力的程度。评估后,委员会会签发一份《评估证明书》(下称“证明书”)并在证明书内列明补偿金额。

 

5.  雇主必须在证明书发出后 21 天内向雇员支付补偿款项。若雇主在没有合理理由下未能清付款项,皆属违法。

三、 评估补偿金额

补偿金额将按照雇员在遭遇意外时的年龄、每月收入及工伤性质来估算。另外,雇主有可能需支付医疗费及义制人体器官和外科器具的费用。

四、  本文要点

1.  雇主和雇员应留意其自身的法律责任及在法定限期内履行相关法律责任。

 

2.  雇主应尽早就工伤意外事件知会保险公司。

 

3.  当雇佣双方确认及承认彼此的需要,双方可考虑提早和解及在适用法律及法规允许的最大程度下达成和解协议。

 

重要提示

本文内容仅为此专门的法律领域提供初步概览。由于个案的事实会有所不同,本所务必提醒阁下以上的数据不构成本所提供的正式法律意见。本所亦不就本文的刊登承担任何法律责任。如需本所的专业意见或协助,请与本所联络。如阁下将来不希望收到本所的法律快讯,请通过电邮方式通知本所(mail@allawyers.com.hk)。