Cherry Tse, JP, is Commissioner for Labour and in charge of the Hong Kong Labour Department.

Hong Kong Raises Compensation for Work Fatalities

For occupational deaths on or after Aug. 1, the minimum compensation to be paid to family members is $310,000 in Hong Kong dollars, which is equivalent to about $40,000 in U.S. dollars.

Minimum compensation to be paid to family members when a worker in Hong Kong dies on the job is being raised Aug. 1 to $310,000 in Hong Kong dollars, which is equivalent to about $40,000 in U.S. dollars. The Hong Kong Labour Department, which administers workplace safety and minimum wage regulations in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said the Legislative Council voted June 30 to raise that minimum and four other workers' compensation amounts effective Aug. 1. The changes are not retroactive -- the higher amounts apply only to injuries or deaths at work occurring on or after Aug. 1.

Minimum compensation to be paid to a worker who is considered to be permanently, totally disabled is rising from the U.S. equivalent of $44,200 to $45,300.

By comparison, violating Section 6A(2)(a) of Hong Kong's Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance, which requires a proprietor to provide and maintain "a system of work that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to the health of the persons employed," can result in a maximum fine equivalent to $64,400. But a construction company was fined only about $5,150 (U.S.) on July 8 for an employee's fatal fall that happened one year earlier, according to the department.

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