During the Covid-19 epidemic, if employees, who work in some essential industries, infected with Covid-19, will be entitled to receive occupational accident benefits?
Occupational safety and occupational accidents.
Regardless of working in any industry or field, in the process of performing their jobs and duties, employees are at risk of facing risks affecting their health and life. Therefore, to share this burden for employees and the company, the occupational accident benefits were born and are gradually becoming a beneficial social security policy today.
In the context of the complicated situation of the Covid-19 epidemic, some localities are currently applying Directive 16/CT-TTg of the Prime Minister on disease prevention. According to this directive, only some establishments, organizations and enterprises that trade in essential services and goods, shall be allowed to continue operating.
According to the provisions of the Law on Occupational Safety and Health 2015 (“Law on OSH”), an occupational accident is “An occupational accident is an accident that causes injury to any part or function of the body or causing death to employees, occurring during the working process, associated with the performance of jobs and labor tasks”.
Accordingly, the determination of occupational accidents will be based on the following two (02) bases (“Bases”):
- The employee has an accident that causes injury to any part or function of the body or causes death; and
- This accident must occur during the working process, associated with the performance of work and labor duties of the employee.
If an accident occurs without one or both of the above Bases, it will not be determined as an ” occupational accident”.
Conditions for employees to receive occupational accident benefits.
Under Article 45 of Law on OSH, an employee will be entitled to receive the occupational accident benefits when fully meeting the following conditions (“Conditions”):
1. Participating in occupational accident insurance;
2. Having an accident in one of the following cases:
- At the workplace and during working hours, even when performing the necessary daily needs at the workplace or during working hours that permitted by that the Labor Code and internal regulations of production and business establishments, including breaks, mid-shift meals, in-kind refreshments, menstrual hygiene, bathing, breastfeeding, toileting;
- Outside the workplace or working hours when performing work at the request of the employer or the person authorized by the employer in writing to directly manage the labor;
- On the route from the place of residence to the place of work or vice versa within a reasonable time and route;
3. Working capacity decreases by 5% or more due to accidents in the cases mentioned in Section 2 above.
The following cases are not entitled to the occupational accident benefits:
Employees are not entitled to the benefits paid by the Occupational Accident Insurance Fund if they fall into one of the following reasons:
- Due to the victim’s own conflict with the person causing the accident, which is not related to the performance of work or labor duties;
- The employee intentionally destroys his/her health.
- Due to the use of drugs or other addictive substances contrary to the provisions of law.
Occupational accident benefits.
In case employees are eligible to enjoy the occupational accident benefits, they will enjoy the following benefits and rights:
1. Amount paid by the Company (Employer), including: advance for first aid, emergency and treatment expenses; to be paid medical expenses from first aid and emergency treatment to stable treatment; be paid full salary of work leaves during the period of treatment and rehabilitation; be compensated if the occurrence of a labor accident is not entirely caused by this person’s own fault…
2. Amounts paid by the Occupational Accident Fund: depending on each specific case and on the level of working capacity decrease, employees are entitled to the following benefits paid by the Occupational Accident Fund under the Social Insurance Fund (SI) as follows: one-time allowance (with a working capacity decrease from 5% to 30%); Monthly allowance (with a working capacity decrease of 31% or more); Financial support to buy living aids, orthopedic equipment; Service allowance (with a decrease of 81% or more but suffering from spinal paralysis, blindness in both eyes, amputation, paraplegia or mental illness); Allowances when employees die due to occupational accidents; Support for convalescence and health rehabilitation after treatment; Support to change careers for people suffering from occupational accidents when returning to work…
Are employees infected with Covid-19 entitled to receive occupational accident benefits?
Although there is currently no specific regulation or guidance on this, we think that if employees have fully met the mentioned Bases and Conditions, they could be received occupational accident benefits.
For example, in the case of banks – an essential service and allowed to operate, if an employee has participated in occupational accident insurance and is infected with Covid – 19 while working process, leading to their working capacity is reduced by 5% or more, they will be entitled to receive the occupational accident benefits.
In addition, based on Decision No. 219/QD-BYT dated January 29, 2020, the Ministry of Health has added acute respiratory infections (Covid – 19) to the list of group A infectious diseases in the Law on prevention and control of infectious diseases 2007. Accordingly, people with Covid-19 will not have to pay for treatment costs for this disease.
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