Extending employees’ compensation protection to employees commuting to or from work under “extreme conditions”
The Employees’ Compensation (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 (Amendment Ordinance) has come into effect since July 2, 2021.
The Amendment Ordinance extends the coverage of the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (Cap. 282) (ECO) to the situation where an employee sustains an injury or dies as a result of an accident when commuting to or from work during the period of “extreme conditions” arising from a super typhoon or other natural disaster of a substantial scale. The relevant employee is provided with the same employees’ compensation protection on par with that under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 (T8) or above or when the Red or Black Rainstorm Warning Signal is in force. The amendment is applicable to those employees who are injured or die under the above circumstances on or after the effective date of the Amendment Ordinance (i.e., July 2, 2021).
According to the amended ECO, an accident to an employee resulting in injury or death is deemed to arise out of and in the course of his employment if it happens whilst T8 or above or the Red or Black Rainstorm Warning Signal is in force, or within the period (including any extended period) during which “extreme conditions” that arise from a super typhoon or other natural disaster of a substantial scale exist as specified in an “extreme conditions” announcement, and the employee travels from his place of residence to his place of work by a direct route within a period of four hours before the time of commencement of his working hours for that day, or from his place of work to his place of residence within a period of four hours after the time of cessation of his working hours for that day. Under such circumstances, the employee will be provided with protection under ECO.
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