Employees’ Compensation

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Does employees' compensation provide cover for overseas sick leave and medical expenses?

Mr. Wong was injured in a traffic accident while on his way to the airport in Singapore heading back to Hong Kong after a business trip. He was slightly injured and was sent to a hospital in Singapore. His attending doctor granted him one day sick leave after treatment.

Mr. Wong filed his insurance claim for his sick leave periodical payment and medical expenses under employees' compensation with his employer the next day when he arrived back in Hong Kong. However, his claim was rejected by the insurance company. Why did the insurance company reject this claim?

The employees' compensation settlement of an insurance company is subject to the Employees' Compensation Ordinance (ECO). Under ECO regulations, in the absence of a sick leave certificate certified by a registered medical practitioner in Hong Kong, the claim for sick leave periodical payment is not substantiated. As a result, Mr. Wong's claim was rejected.

In respect of Mr. Wong's claim for his medical expenses, according to the ECO Chapter 282 Section 10AA, an employer is not liable to pay medical expenses for his employees incurred outside Hong Kong, unless and until a certificate has been issued by the Commissioner under Section 10B (1)(b) stating the amount of such medical expenses. As Mr. Wong's medical expenses were not endorsed by the Commissioner, his case was rejected in accordance with ECO Chapter 282 Section 5 (2) (a), which states that an employer is not liable to pay compensation to his employee in respect of any injury arising out of and in the course of his employment if the injury, other than an injury which results in partial incapacity of a permanent nature, does not incapacitate the employee from earning full wages at the workplace at which he is employed.

Accidents can happen at any time. In order to enjoy comprehensive cover, customers are advised to take out their own personal accident insurance which provides cover against bodily injury incurred in an accident anywhere in the world.

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