By King & Wood Mallesons’ Labor Group
Beijing Implementation Rules on Regulations on Work-Related Injury Insurance (Beijing Municipal Decree No. 242) (hereinafter "the Rules") was released and effective on December 5th, 2011. Based on the Regulations on Work-Related Injury Insurance promulgated by the State Council of the People’ s Republic of China and taking into consideration the Beijing practice, the Rules details the determination of work-related injuries, appraisal of work capability, and payment of work-related injury benefits, etc.
With regard to the determination procedure of work-related injuries, the Rules for the first time ever provides that if labor dispute concerning determination of the employment relationship affects the determination of work-related injuries, the labor dispute must be resolved in accordance with law before the application for work-related injury determination, and the time for resolving the labor dispute is excluded from the time limit for applying for the determination. In addition, the Rules establishes the scheme of designation of jurisdiction for work-related injury determination, i.e. when departments of work-related injury determination at district or county level deem that the application for determination is out of their jurisdiction, they shall report the application to the municipal social insurance administrative departments for designation of jurisdiction.
The Rules further provides that Beijing is going to establish a rehabilitation scheme for patients with work-related injuries which gives precedence to rehabilitation over appraisal and places equal emphasis on medical treatment and rehabilitation. When an injured employee with work-related injury deems that his/her physical condition has relatively stabilized, the employee may apply for work capability appraisal in writing. After accepting the aforesaid application, the commission of work capability appraisal at district or county level may request the employee to take further medical examination when it deems necessary. The time spent on such medical examination will be excluded from the time limit for work capability appraisal.
As to payment of work-related injury benefits, the Rules stipulates that if the employers enrolled in work-related injury insurance go into bankruptcy or liquidation, the work-related injury benefits paid by the work-related insurance fund will be distributed by the subdistrict offices of the government or by the social security institutions established by the people’s governments at town level.
King and Wood: Without overlapping withthe Regulation on Work-Related Injury Insurance, the Rules details the implementation rules of Beijing municipality with respect to determination of work-related injuries, appraisal of work capability, and payment of work-related injury benefits and therefore enhances the practicability of work-related injury insurance. Moreover, the Rules puts forward "a rehabilitation scheme for work-related injuries which gives precedence to rehabilitation over appraisal and places equal emphasis on medical treatment and rehabilitation". As such, there may be further implementation rules on this scheme to be released in future. Employees and employers should keep attention to the changing rules and policies with respect to work-related injury determination, rehabilitation and appraisal so as to protect their rights and interests and avoid legal risk.