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If an employee sustains an injury or dies as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment, his/her employer is in general liable to pay compensation under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (ECO). If you are the injured worker, here are some tips on how to handle your employees’ compensation claims. If you are the employer of an injured employee, here are some guidelines on what you should do to fulfill your legal obligations.

If You Got Injured at Work

You should pay attention to the following to ensure smooth processing of your case.

  • Notify your employer or his representatives, e.g. supervisor or human resources department, of your work injury immediately regardless of whether it is serious or not.
  • Receive medical examination or treatment as soon as possible. Remember to state clearly to the attending medical staff the cause and course of the injury.
  • Provide your employer with full details of the work injury to facilitate him/her to report to the Labour Department (LD).
  • Submit to your employer originals of sick leave certificates and receipts for medical expenses in relation to medical consultation and follow-up treatment as soon as possible. Remember to keep copies.
  • Contact Occupational Medicine Unit of the LD and make an appointment for medical clearance where appropriate.
  • Follow the instructions of medical practitioners to recuperate and rest during sick leave to speed up recovery and to make it easier to accommodate on return-to-work.
  • Keep a record of employment information, such as the documentary proof of of the employer-employee relationship, the names and addresses of the immediate employer and the principal contractor, attendance and payment records, etc.

To know more about employees’ rights under the ECO, check out the links below.

If Your Employees Got Injured at Work

You should notify the Commissioner for Labour in prescribed form within 14 days after the incident (or 7 days in case of death), irrespective of whether the accident gives rise to any liability to pay compensation.

In general, you are liable to pay:

  • periodical payments at the rate of four-fifths of the difference between the employee's monthly earnings at the time of the accident and his monthly earnings during the period of his temporary incapacity;
  • medical expenses within 21 days after the employee has submitted the receipts for payment of medical expenses; and
  • compensation as stated in the Certificate of Compensation Assessment (Form 5) issued by the LD within 21 days from the date of issue of the Certificate.

Meanwhile, you may:

  • require the employee to attend a free medical examination by a registered medical practitioner, a registered Chinese medicine practitioner or a registered dentist named by you;
  • conduct preliminary investigation in case of doubt and contact the insurer for appropriate follow-up action;
  • formulate company guidelines for handling employees’ compensation cases so as to facilitate you to handle the cases and enhance timely payment of periodical payments and employees’ compensation payments as required by the law.

To know more about employers’ obligation under the ECO, check out the links below.

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Last review date: January 2014

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