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Medical Treatment and Sickness Allowance

Medical Treatment and Sickness Allowance

Medical Treatment and Sickness Allowance

1.If my helper gets sick or injured, do I need to pay for medical expenses?

a. Yes. When a helper gets sick or injured, whether work-related or not, the employer must provide free medical treatment, including fees for medical consultation, hospitalization and emergency dental treatment. In view of this, you may consider taking out insurance that provides full medical and hospitalization coverage for your helper. You may also consider taking out an integrated insurance policy that includes both medical and hospitalization coverage and complies with the requirements of the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance. You should properly keep the medical records provided by your helper.

b.To avoid doubt, the revised Standard Employment Contract introduced on 1 April 2003 makes clear that under the new Standard Employment Contract, an employer is not liable to bear the medical expenses incurred during the helper’s leave from Hong Kong on voluntary grounds and for personal reasons (e.g. to visit relatives in home country).

2.If my helper gets sick or injured, can I designate a doctor for my helper?

Under the employment contract, a helper must accept medical treatment by any registered medical practitioner as provided by the employer. You should reach prior agreement with your helper on the doctor she should consult if she gets sick or injured.

3.When is a helper entitled to sickness allowance?

a. An employer must pay sickness allowance to a helper when:

● The helper has accumulated sufficient number of paid sickness days;

● The sickness day(s) taken not less than 4 consecutive days;

● The helper can produce an appropriate medical certificate (for antenatal checkups, the helper may produce an attendance proof in lieu of a medical certificate).

b. A helper accumulates 2 paid sickness days for each completed month of employment during the first 12 months; and 4 paid sickness days for each completed month thereafter. Paid sickness days can be accumulated throughout the whole period of employment to a maximum of 120 days at any one time.

4.How is sickness allowance calculated and when should it be paid?

The daily rate of sickness allowance is a sum equivalent to 3/4 of the helper’s average daily wages. It should be paid no later than the normal pay day.

5.Can I dismiss my helper who is on paid sick leave?

No. It is unlawful for an employer to dismiss a helper who is on paid sick leave, unless for summary dismissal due to gross misconduct by the helper. Contravention is liable to prosecution with a maximum fine of $100,000 upon conviction.

a. The employer must also pay the helper:

● Payment in lieu of notice;

● A sum equivalent to 7 days’ wages as compensation;

● Any sickness allowance the helper is entitled to.

b. The helper may also claim remedies against the employer for unreasonable and unlawful dismissal under the “employment protection” provisions of the Employment Ordinance.