Claim case sharing
Employer’s liability to pay sick leave payment after resignation of injured employee
Mr. Wong had been working in a printing company for the past 6 years. He decided to resign from his job. Just a week before he left, he sustained a waist injury whilst at work controlling a printing machine. He reported this accident to the employer immediately. Mr. Wong consulted a doctor for his injury and he was granted 2 weeks of sick leave.
Later on, Mr. Wong submitted the relevant sick leave certificate to his employer and requested his employer to pay him the 2-week sick leave payments as employee’s compensation. His employer only paid the first week's compensation but refused to pay for the second week’s as Mr. Wong had already left the company by then.
According to the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (“ECO”), an employer is liable to pay compensation in respect of injuries sustained by his employees as a result of a work accident. The injured employee is entitled to receive sick leave payments (i.e. periodical payment) during the period of temporary incapacity (sick leave) up to 24 months. The employer’s liability to pay sick leave payments will continue even though the injured employee has left the employer’s employment. In this case, Mr. Wong’s employer is liable to pay Mr. Wong’s 2-week sick leave payments and any of his future entitlement as stipulated in the ECO.
The above case demonstrates a misunderstanding that “termination of employment relationship” would put an end to the liability of employers to pay employees' compensation. In fact, the employer is still liable to pay the ex-employee periodical payments for further sick leave granted to him and other compensation including medical expenses and permanent incapacity etc, irrespective of whether the employment relationship still exists.