As of 1 September 2014, the new judicial opinion of the
China's Supreme People's Court concerning work-related
injuries (the "Opinion") came into force. This Opinion
mainly clarifies the scope of work-related injuries, to support the
implementation of the Regulations on Work-Related Injury Insurance
General framework of work-related injuries
The Regulations define the general framework of work-related
injury matters, including the scope of work-related injuries,
verification of the injury, and obligations and liabilities of
employers, amongst other aspects.
Under the Regulations, work-related injuries include the
following cases, where:
an employee is injured as a result of an accident occurred due
to his/her work within working hours and at his/her place of
an employee is injured as a result of an accident within their
place of work, before or after normal working hours, whilst
preparing for or finishing work related to his job;
an employee suffers from violence or another unexpected injury
during working hours, at their place of work, whilst performing
an employee suffers from an occupational disease;
an employee's whereabouts are unknown due to an injury or
accident that occurred whilst he/she was travelling beyond the
workplace in performance of his/her duties (the "Business Trip
an employee is injured in a traffic accident for which he is not
principally responsible, or during urban rail transit, in passenger
ferry or rail accident on his/her way to or from work
Within the above scope, whether an injury constitutes a
work-related injury or not is subject to assessment and
verification by local labour authorities. Once confirmed that it is
so, and depending on the severity of the injury, an injured
employee will be entitled to statutory benefits, including coverage
of medical expenses and provisions of statutory subsidies by the
statutory work-related injury fund.
His/her employer also has obligations. The employer must
continue to pay the employee's full monthly salary during the
medical treatment period (which is generally up to 12 months, and
may last for 24 months in severe cases subject to approval by the
local labour authorities).
Following medical treatment, the employer's
liability depends on the disability and injury grade (from 1
(the most severe one) to 10), as evaluated by the local labour
authorities. Liabilities generally include arranging appropriate
work, providing compensation or paying subsidies according to local
standards. Employment must be maintained if the grade of disability
and injury is verified as 1 to 4.
Clarifications provided by the Opinion
The Regulations provide the general definition of work-related
injuries, but challenges remain for implementation. To guide
practice in implementation, the Opinion provides helpful
The Opinion clarifies that the following cases also constitute
work-related injuries, where:
the injury occurs during working hours and at the place of work,
and where the employer or the labour authority can provide no
evidence that the injury is due to a nonwork-related reason;
the employee is injured during an activity organized by the
employer, or by another entity but at which the employee's
attendance is required by the employer;
within working hours and whilst travelling between several
working locations in the course of carrying out his/her work
duties, there occurs an injury to the employee whilst within a
reasonable proximity of these locations; and
whatever the injury suffered by the employee, it occurred during
working hours and within a reasonable proximity to the work place,
which is relevant to his/her work.
The Opinion considers the following period as the "Business
when, as assigned by his/her employer or required by his/her
work, the employee travels beyond their place of work to undertake
activities which are related to his/her job duties;
when the employee is receiving training or attending a meeting
as assigned by the employer;
when the employee travels beyond their place of work to conduct
activities as required by his/her work.
As to Commuting Accidents, the Opinion upholds an accident as a
Commuting Accident if it occurs within a reasonable time period on
a reasonable route the employee takes for the purpose of commuting
between his/her work place and:
his/her domicile, habitual residence or dormitory;
the residence of his/her spouse, parents or children;
the place where he/she performs those activities necessary for
earning a living.
If it occurs within a reasonable time period whilst on any other
reasonable route that the employee takes whilst commuting, the
accident will also be upheld as a Commuting Accident.
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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