By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The Standing Committee for the Coordination of Social Affairs (CPCS) plans to propose a law revision so that employees, including those who are requested to go to the workplace in bad weather, will be guaranteed timely compensation after getting injured at work.
According to CPCS coordinator and director of the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) Shuen Ka Hung, the workers’ representatives pointed out that employers normally rely on insurance companies on work injury compensation but it usually takes a long time for employees to make a claim.
In the Decree Law no. 40/95/M, workers are entitled to compensation for every 15 days that they are absent from work due to work injuries. However, after the meeting yesterday, Shuen admitted that the law fails to clarify who has the responsibility to pay such compensation and therefore injured workers cannot get any timely financial help either from the insurance company or the employer.
He said the CPCS has agreed that legal advisors from the Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) and DSAL will draft a bill to amend the law, so that employers will be obliged to compensate their workers for work accidents during the period before they can obtain the insurance claims.
Meanwhile, in order to protect those employees who are called to go to work in bad weather, Shuen said a revision will also be proposed in the 40/95/M decree law.
At present, employers need to buy supplemental insurance for their workers if they want them to be covered for accidents that occur when they are going to or leaving the workplace, no matter in good or bad weather.
However, the CPCS has decided that the protection needs to be extended. A bill will be proposed so that an employee who is requested to go to work in bad weather must be compensated by the insurance company for injuries, even if the employer has not purchased supplemental insurance for him or her.
For work accidents that take place in good weather, Shuen said only supplemental insurance will be able to cover the compensation.
Bad weather basically means typhoon signal no. 8 or above and Shuen said the legal advisors will give it a precise definition in the bill.
The bill will not make supplemental insurance mandatory for employers, he added.
The insurance industry is to be consulted on the proposal later.
On the other hand, the Concern Group for the Employment of Imported Labour, which is a special working committee belong to the CPCS, will be formed by six representatives with two each chosen from the DSAL/Human Resources Office, employers’ associations and workers’ associations respectively.
Shuen said after the Secretary for Economy and Finance nominates the two Government representatives the Concern Group will start operating immediately.