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With the amendments, coverage of the Ordinance is extended to situations where employees face injury or death as a result of an accident when commuting to or from work, during the period of “extreme conditions”.

The Labour Department of Hong Kong has recently shared that the Employees’ Compensation (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 (Amendment Ordinance) is now in effect since Friday, 2 July 2021. 

In a press release on Friday, the Department stated that this Amendment Ordinance extends the coverage of the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (Cap. 282) [ECO] to a situation where an employee sustains an injury or dies as a result of an accident when commuting to or from work, during the period of “extreme conditions” arising from a super typhoon or other natural disasters of a substantial scale.

The affected employee will be provided with the same employees’ compensation protection on par with that under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 (T8) or above, or when the Red or Black Rainstorm Warning Signal is in force.

The amendment is applicable to employees who are injured or those who pass away under the above circumstances, on or after the effective date of the Amendment Ordinance (i.e., 2 July 2021).

The Labour Department also highlighted that according to the amended ECO, an accident to an employee resulting in injury or death is deemed to arise out of and in the course of his employment if it happens:

  • Whilst T8 or above or the Red or Black Rainstorm Warning Signal is in force; 
  • Within the period (including any extended period) during which “extreme conditions” that arise from a super typhoon or other natural disasters of a substantial scale exist as specified in an “extreme conditions” announcement; and
  • The employee is travelling as follows:
    • From his place of residence to his place of work by a direct route within a period of four hours before the time of commencement of his working hours for that day; or
    • From his place of work to his place of residence within a period of four hours after the time of cessation of his working hours for that day.

Under such circumstances, the employee will be provided with protection under ECO.

Employers may refer to the full text of the Ordinance here

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