Claim case sharing
With the increasing publicity on occupational diseases, more and more people are concerned if their cases would be defined as occupational diseases and if they are covered under employees' compensation. In this issue, we would like to share some tips on this topic.
Under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance Cap. 282 Sec. 32 ("the Ordinance"), if any employee suffers incapacity or dies as a result of a prescribed compensatory occupational disease "and is due to the nature of any employment in which the employee was employed at any time within the prescribed period immediately preceding such incapacity or death, whether under one or more employers", the employee shall be entitled to compensation under this Ordinance.
Are all occupational diseases covered under Employees' Compensation Ordinance?
The answer is "No". This is why there are many claims disputes over occupational diseases. Unlike injuries which are easier to detect physically, diseases need to be proved as compensable occupational diseases. It is clearly stated in the Second Schedule of the Ordinance that only 48 specified diseases under 4 categories, caused by physical agents, biological agents, chemical agents or miscellaneous agents are covered under the Ordinance. In the case that an employee is suffering from a disease that is not specified in the Ordinance, it would take more time and effort to prove to the court that the disease falls with the meaning of "a personal injury arising out of and in the course of the employment".
We advise customers to refer to the Ordinance to check if you are able to claim employees' compensation for suffering from occupational diseases. If you fail to claim from the ECO, do find out if you are able to claim from your employer's medical scheme or your own medical insurance plan.