The Decision to Amend the Law of the People's Republic
of China on Prevention and Treatment of Occupational Diseases
was adopted by the Standing Committee of the 11th
National People' s Congress on December 31st, 2011.
The amended Law of the People's Republic of China on
Prevention and Treatment of Occupational Diseases (hereinafter
"Law") came into force on the same day.
In order to protect the rights and interests of patients with
occupational diseases, the Law makes diagnosis and appraisal of
occupational diseases more practicable. For instance, if an
occupational disease diagnosis or appraisal institution deems
necessary to investigate the hazardous factors that may result in
occupational diseases in the workplace, the institution may conduct
an on-site investigation itself, or request the administrative
departments of work safety supervision to so investigate. Upon the
request, the administrative departments shall make an on-site
investigation within 10 days. And employers shall not refuse or
hinder the foresaid investigations.
Considering that the latency period of some occupational
diseases could be long, the Law specifies that local governments
shall take measures to provide aids on aspects of medical
treatment, living, etc. to the patients whose occupational diseases
appear after their employers ceased to exist or whose employment
relationship can not be identified.
In addition, the Law adds that during the diagnosis and
appraisal of occupational diseases, if the parties disagree on the
employment relationship, job category, work position or service
period for determining the employee' s profession history and
history of exposure to work-related hazard, the parties may submit
their disputes to local labor dispute arbitration commission and
the arbitration commission shall accept the case and issue an
arbitral award within 30 days.
King & Wood Mallesons: The new
Regulations on Work-Related Injury Insurance, effective as
from January 1st, 2011, provides relatively
comprehensive rules for treatment and benefits for occupational
diseases, and the new Law more focuses on perfecting the scheme for
occupational diseases diagnosis and appraisal. On the one hand, the
Law enhances the responsibilities of employers in order to force
them to fulfill their obligations during occupational diseases
diagnosis and appraisal, such as providing required materials for
diagnosis and appraisal. On the other hand, the Law is more
favorable to employees to ease their difficulties in reality. For
instance, the period of arbitration to determining employees'
profession history or history of exposure to work-related hazard is
shortened from 45 days to 30 days. The employers should pay
attention to the Law and update their internal occupational
diseases prevention and control schemes so as to keep in compliance
with the newest legislation.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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