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What compensation should an employer pay to an employee who sustained permanent total/partial incapacity as a result of a work injury?

Labour Department

In accordance with the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance, of an employee sustains an injury or dies as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of his/her employment, the employer is in general liable to pay compensation under this Ordinance.
 

Compensation for Permanent Total/Partial Incapacity as a Result of a Work Injury

If an injured employee suffers from permanent incapacity as a result of a work injury, the employer is liable to make the following compensation payments (items vary with individual cases) –
 

  1. Periodical Payment

    If a period of absence from duty certified to be necessary by a registered medical practitioner, a registered Chinese medicine practitioner, a registered dentist or an Employees' Compensation Assessment Board, the period is deemed to be a period of temporary incapacity.  During the period of temporary incapacity, the employer shall pay the injured employee periodical payments.

    The rate of periodical payments is 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 temporary incapacity.

    “Earnings” includes –

    • Cash wages;
    • The value of any privilege or benefit which can be estimated in cash, e.g. food, fuel or quarters supplied to the employee, if as a result of the accident he is deprived of any of them;
    • Overtime payments or other special remuneration, whether by way of bonus, allowance or otherwise, if it is of a constant nature; and
    • Customary tips.

    However “earnings” does not include items such as remuneration for intermittent overtime, casual payments of a non-recurrent nature, the value of travelling allowances or concession and the employer’s contribution to provident funds.

    The “monthly earnings” is to be taken as -
    a. the earnings for the month immediately preceding the date of the accident; or
    b. the average monthly earnings for the previous 12 months of employment (or any lesser period if the employee has not been so long employed);

    whichever calculation is more favourable to the employee.  According to the Ordinance, for the purpose of assessing compensation payable, the minimum rate of monthly earnings is deemed to be $4,090.
     

  2. Medical Expenses

    Unless an employer has provided adequate free medical treatment to the employee, the employer is liable to pay medical expenses (including fees for consultation, any surgical or therapeutic treatment, cost of nursing attendance, hospital accommodation as an in-patient, medicines, curative materials and medical dressings, etc.) in respect of the period during which the employee received medical treatment.  Types of medical treatment covered by the Ordinance include treatments given by, or under the supervision of, a registered medical practitioner, a registered Chinese medical practitioner, a registered dentist, a registered physiotherapist, a registered occupational therapist or a registered chiropractor.

    The daily maximum of medical expenses payable by the employer are as follows –

     Daily maximum amount
    The medical expenses for each day of stay in the hospital where an employee is given medical treatment as an in-patient$300
    The medical expenses for each day on which an employee is given medical treatment other than as an in-patient in a hospital$300
    The medical expenses for each day on which an employee is given medical treatment both as an in-patient in a hospital and other than as an in-patient in a hospital$370

     
  3. Costs for Prostheses and Surgical Appliances

    If an injured employee requires a prosthesis or surgical appliance, the employer is liable to pay –
    a. the initial costs of supplying and fitting the prosthesis or surgical appliance, subject to a maximum amount of $40,010 (for work injuries caused by accidents happening between 5 March 2015 and 31 March 2017, the maximum amount is $36,430); and 
    b. the probable costs of repair and renewal of such an item during a period of 10 years after the initial fitting of the item, subject to a maximum amount of $121,230 (for work injuries caused by accidents happening between 5 March 2015 and 31 March 2017, the maximum amount is $110,390).
     

  4. Compensation for Permanent Incapacity

If an injured employee suffers from permanent total incapacity, the employer is liable to pay a compensation –

Age of injured employeeAmount of compensation
Under 4096 months’ earnings [Note 1] or minimum compensation [Note 2], whichever is higher
40 to under 5672 months’ earnings [Note 1] or minimum compensation [Note 2], whichever is higher
56 or above48 months’ earnings [Note 1] or minimum compensation [Note 2], whichever is higher

[Note 1] The monthly earnings used for calculating compensation are subject to a maximum limit. For work injuries caused by accidents happening on or after 1 April 2017, the maximum monthly earning is $28,360. For work injuries caused by accidents happening between 5 March 2015 and 31 March 2017, the maximum amount is $26,070.


[Note 2] There is a minimum compensation for permanent incapacity. For work injuries caused by accidents happening on or after 1 April 2017, the minimum compensation is $464,360. For work injuries caused by accidents happening between 5 Mar 2015 and 31 March 2017, the minimum compensation is $426,880.
 

The “monthly earnings” is to be taken as -
a. the earnings for the month immediately preceding the date of the accident; or
b. the average monthly earnings for the previous 12 months of employment (or any shorter period if the employee has not been so long employed);

whichever calculation is more favourable to the employee. 

If an injured employee suffers from permanent partialincapacity, the amount of compensation payable is calculated as follows –

Amount of compensation due to
permanent total incapacity

X

Percentage of permanent
loss of earning capacity #

#Employees’ Compensation Assessment Boards are appointed by the Commissioner for Labour to assess the percentage of the loss of earning capacity caused by injuries.

 

  1. Compensation for Attention

If an injured employee suffers from permanent incapacity and is unable to perform the essential actions of life without the attention of another person, compensation for attention shall be payable.  The amount is to be determined on a case by case basis and the maximum limit is $556,700 (for work injuries caused by accidents happening between 5 March 2015 and 31 March 2017, the maximum compensation for attention is $511,770).
 

For further details of the Ordinance, please refer to the “ A Concise Guide to the Employees' Compensation Ordinance (PDF)” issued by the Labour Department or the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance.

 

 

 

 The is not a legal document. The Ordinance remains the sole authority for the provisions of the law explained. 

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Last update: 30 Sep 2019
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