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Occupational Deafness (Compensation) (Amendment) Ordinance 2003

Improvements have been introduced to the Occupational Deafness Compensation Scheme (the Scheme) upon the commencement of the Occupational Deafness (Compensation) (Amendment) Ordinance 2003 on 16 May 2003. The Amendment Ordinance has been published in the Gazette on the same day.

The package of improvements are as follows -

  • Adjusting upwards the minimum and maximum levels of compensation in accordance with the rate of increase in Nominal Wage Index.
  • The percentage of permanent incapacity has been revised upwards whilst maintaining the maximum level at 60% in determining the amount of compensation.
  • People who are successful in obtaining compensation can apply with the Occupational Deafness Compensation Board (the Board) for the reimbursement of expenses incurred in purchasing, repairing and replacing hearing assistive devices subject to a reimbursable ceiling of $9,000 for the initial purchase and an aggregate ceiling of $18,000 per applicant.
  • Eligible employees of the following four new specified noisy occupations can obtain compensation for occupational deafness if they also fulfill the other conditions stipulated under the Occupational Deafness (Compensation) Ordinance -
    • Slaughterhouse employees working in the immediate vicinity of electric stunning of pigs for the purpose of slaughter;
    • Mahjong parlour workers employed to play mahjong as the main duty;
    • Bartenders and waiters working near the dancing area in discotheques; and
    • Disc jockeys working in discotheques.
  • The Board has been empowered to conduct or finance rehabilitation programmes.
  • In determining a claimant's earnings for the purpose of calculating the compensation payable, the Board can disregard no-pay leave taken by the claimant with the consent of the employer during the last 12 months of employment in aggregate. This can better reflect the average earnings of claimants.

Expenses in relation to hearing assistive devices apply only in respect of expenses of the acquisition, fitting, repair or maintenance of a hearing assistive device incurred on or after the commencement of the Occupational Deafness (Compensation) (Amendment) Ordinance 2003 on 16 May 2003. Relevant applications should be made within a period of 12 months after the expenses were incurred. If the hearing assistive device is a hearing aid, it must be purchased on the recommendation of qualified professionals. The Board will designate the categories of persons who may give such an advice.

As applications for compensation should be made within twelve months after leaving employment, eligible employees of the four new specified noisy occupations are reminded to apply as soon as possible. To be eligible for compensation, a person has to fulfill both the occupational and disability requirements.

The Scheme is administered by the Occupational Deafness Compensation Board. For enquiries, please call the Board on 2723 1288.