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PRC Labour Law - Bitesize

9 October 2013
Mayer Brown JSM Newsletter

Work-related Injury (Cont'd)

What are the entitlements of an employee with a work-related injury during a period of medical treatment? Who is responsible for the applicable costs?

During the period that an employee receives medical treatment for his/her work-related injury or occupational disease and is unable to work, the company must pay him/her full salary (i.e., the original wage and welfare benefits remain unchanged). Such full-pay period is generally capped at 12 months starting from the first day of medical treatment, and may be extended for a further period of 12 months (maximum) if approved by the Work Capability Assessment Committee subordinate to the local labour bureau. This is known as the "suspension-of-work-with-full-pay" period.

Apart from the above, an employee with a work-related injury is also (generally) entitled to the following:

  • Meal allowance, if the employee is hospitalised for the treatment of a work-related injury, and travel, food and boarding expenses if the employee needs to seek medical treatment outside an integrally planned region with the referral certificate of a medical institution and the consent of the handling agency. Such entitlements are paid from the work-related injury insurance funds.
  • Where expenses are incurred for the rehabilitative treatment of an employee with a work-related injury at a medical institution that has entered into a service agreement, and such expenses satisfy the applicable provisions, they are paid from the work-related injury insurance funds.
  • If the employee, subject to the confirmation of the Work Capability Assessment Committee, needs as a consequence of the work-related injury to wear (for daily life or employment needs) one or more artificial limb, artificial eye, or orthotic, and/or false teeth, or to equip himself with an aid such as a wheelchair, the necessary costs are paid from the work-related injury insurance funds at a rate specified by the State.
  • If an employee with a work-related injury has been assessed for disability grade and is confirmed by the Work Capability Assessment Committee as requiring daily care, expenses incurred for such care are paid monthly from work-related injury insurance funds. Expenses incurred for daily care are paid according to three grades of self-care disability, namely (i) total self-care disability, (ii) substantial self-care disability, and (iii) partial self-care disability; the rates are 50 percent, 40 percent or 30 percent (respectively) of the average monthly wage of employees in an integrally planned region in the preceding year.

If an employee dies due to a work-related injury, are his/her family members entitled to any payments from the work-related injury insurance funds?

Where an employee dies from a work-related injury, the immediate family members of the deceased employee shall receive a funeral allowance; dependent family members shall also receive a bereavement payment and a lump sum work-related death allowance. Such entitlements are paid from the work-related injury insurance funds in accordance with the following provisions:

  • The funeral allowance amounts to 6 months' average monthly wages for employees in an integrally planned region in the preceding year;
  • The bereavement payment to dependent family members amounts to a certain percentage of the employee's wages for each family member who, before the employee's death, was dependent on the employee as provider of the primary source of income, and who has no work capability. Rates for such payments are as follows:
    • 40 percent per month for the widowed spouse
    • 30 percent per month for each family member
    • an additional 10 percent (of the applicable rate above) per month for the orphan of the deceased employee, or for the widowed spouse of the deceased employee if he or she is elderly (i.e., retirement age or older)

The sum of the bereavement payment to all dependent family members so determined shall not be higher than the wage of the employee before his/her work-related death.

The specific scope of dependent family members shall be specified by the administrative department of social insurance of the State Council;

  • The rate for the lump sum work-related death allowance is 20 times the average per capita disposable income of national urban residents for the preceding year as published by the Statistics Authority (e.g., the current figure for the said lump sum work-related death allowance is CNY 491,300).

What happens if an employee on a business trip cannot be found following involvement in an accident, and whose death is suspected but cannot be confirmed?

If, while on a business trip, an employee's whereabouts cannot be determined following an accident or emergency rescue/disaster relief efforts, his/her wages shall continue to be paid for three months from the month in which the accident occurred, and be terminated from the fourth month. Thereafter, the dependent family members of the employee shall receive a bereavement payment on a monthly basis from the work-related injury insurance funds.

If the family members experience living difficulties, 50 percent of the lump sum work-related death allowance may be paid to the family members in advance.

If the employee is declared dead by the court, his or her death shall be handled as a work-related death case.

What happens to work-related injury insurance if the employer undergoes division, merger or transfer, or becomes bankrupt?

If the employer undergoes a division, merger or transfer, the succeeding entity shall bear the original employer's responsibility for sustaining work-related injury insurance. If the original employer participated in work-related injury insurance, the succeeding entity shall make a change registration for work-related injury insurance with the local agency.

If the employer is operated on a contract basis, the responsibility for work-related injury insurance is borne by the employer that has the labour relationship with the employee. If an employee is injured in a work-related accident during the period of a temporary transfer to another entity, the original employer shall bear responsibility for such work-related injury insurance, but the original employer may reach an agreement with the entity on compensation methods.

If an enterprise declares bankruptcy, work-related injury insurance benefits normally paid by the enterprise in accordance with the law shall be set aside and paid in accordance with law during liquidation.

What happens to an employee's work-related injury insurance if he/she is dispatched to work abroad and is required to participate in the local work-related injury insurance?

If an employee is dispatched to work abroad and is required to participate in the local work-related injury insurance in accordance with the laws of the destination country or region, the employee shall comply, and his/her work-related injury insurance relationship in China shall be suspended. If the employee cannot participate in local work-related injury insurance, his/her work-related injury insurance relationship in China is not suspended.

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