Labour Advisory Board Report 2009-20104. Committee on Employees' Compensation

4.1 Introduction
  The Committee on Employees' Compensation (CEC) has been in place since August 1986 to give advice on the effectiveness of the employees' compensation system and related legislation.

4.2 Terms of Reference
  The committee is established to:

  • review the employees' compensation system in Hong Kong;
  • advise on legislative proposals on employees' compensation and review existing legislation; and
  • advise on measures to be adopted by the Labour Department (LD) to improve the administrative machinery related to employees' compensation.

4.3 Composition
  Members of CEC are appointed by the Commissioner for Labour. The composition of the committee for the term 2009-2010 is as follows:

Chairman: Deputy Commissioner for Labour (Labour Administration)
  • Three employer representatives from the Labour Advisory Board
  • Three employee representatives from the Labour Advisory Board
  • An employer representative from outside the Labour Advisory Board
  • An employee representative from outside the Labour Advisory Board
  • A representative nominated by the insurance industry
  • A representative from a concern group on employees' compensation
  • A representative nominated by the Hospital Authority
  • A representative nominated by the Director of Legal Aid
  • Assistant Commissioner for Labour (Employees' Rights and Benefits)
  • Occupational Health Consultant (1)
Secretary: A Labour Officer of the Labour Department

The membership list of CEC for the term 2009-2010 is at Appendix I.

4.4 Activities during the 2009-2010 Term
  During the 2009-2010 term, CEC discussed the following matters:

Amendments to employees' compensation legislation and work of the Employees' Compensation Division (ECD) of LD

  • CEC noted the improvements made to the employees' compensation legislation in 2008 and 2009, as given below:
    • The scope of the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance has been extended to cover cancerous mesothelioma with effect from 18 April 2008.  Accordingly, the ordinance has also been re-titled as the Pneumoconiosis and Mesothelioma (Compensation) Ordinance (PMCO).
    • The medical treatment, examination and certification given by registered Chinese medicine practitioners have been recognised for entitlement to certain employees' benefits under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance (ECO) and PMCO with effect from 1 September 2008.
    • The Occupational Deafness (Compensation) Bill 2009 was introduced into the Legislative Council (LegCo) on 3 June 2009 to improve the benefits for persons with occupational deafness and adjust the overall rate and proportions of distribution of the Employees' Compensation Insurance Levy payable under the Employees' Compensation Insurance Levies Ordinance.  LegCo then formed a Bills Committee to scrutinise the bill.
  • CEC noted the work of ECD in handling employees' compensation claims in 2008 and 2009 as well as its publicity and public education campaigns organised in enhancing public understanding of the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees under ECO.

Review of the levels of compensation under ECO and PMCO

CEC agreed on a proposal to raise the amounts of five compensation items under ECO in line with the findings of the review of the cumulative increase in the wage movement while maintaining the amounts of compensation under ECO and PMCO at their existing levels in respect of those items which, according to the review findings, would have to be adjusted downwards. The proposal was subsequently submitted to the Labour Advisory Board for consideration.