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China Work Injury Insurance: A Few New Rules

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Late last month, China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (“MOHRSS”) implemented  Opinions on Several Issues Concerning the Implementation of the Regulation on Work Related Injury Insurance (II)(人力资源社会保障部关于执行《工伤保险条例》若干问题的意见(二))(the “Opinions”). The Opinions offer some (but as is fairly typical, not enough ) clarification on various current regulations. This post highlights a few key aspects of the Opinions.

The Opinions make clear that an employer who continues to employ someone who has reached his or her statutory retirement age (this age depends on the specific industry and position — the usual retirement age is 60 for male workers and 50 for female workers; however note that China is currently discussing increasing its ages for retirement) is responsible for providing work injury insurance for any such employee. In other words, even an employee who has reached the statutory retirement age suffers a work-related injury or occupational disease during employment and the employer has been contributing to work injury insurance on a project basis, the Regulation on Work Related Injury Insurance will apply. Though this only makes sense, this was formerly unclear.

The Opinions also state that the reasonable route an employee takes between his or her employer’s location and the employee’s residence for purposes of going to or from work will be considered “on the way to/from work” for purposes of the law and will not be covered by work injury insurance. This includes routes employees take when the employee works overtime.

An employee who suffers an injury while participating in an activity held by another entity and such activity is related to the employee’s work duties, it will be deemed to be work related injury.

If the employee is based out of town for work reasons and has a permanent address and a definitive work and rest schedule, for purposes of determining the employee’s work injury, the rules in the location where the employee is actually based shall be used.

An employer that does not operate from its place of registration usually  should contribute to the employee’s work injury insurance in the place where the employer is registered. For dispatched employees assigned to work in a location other than the place where the dispatch agency is registered, the dispatched employee’s social insurance must be paid in the place where the company that uses the employee is located.

Employers in the construction business that contribute to their workers’ social insurance on a project basis must get work injury insurance in the location of the construction project.

Bottom line: Regardless of where your employees are based, if you are a China employer, you must (and you should) contribute to social insurance for your employees. And depending on your location, you may also need to contribute to social insurance for your expat employees as well.

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