The government has completed proposed amendments to the law on the reparation for damages arising from accidents at work and occupational diseases by introducing a mandatory insurance that employers must buy for their employees who need to work when the No. 8 or a higher typhoon signal is hoisted.
Executive Council (ExCo) spokesman Leong Heng Teng announced the amendment bill during a special press conference at Government Headquarters.
Leong said the government believed it was appropriate to improve employees’ protection step by step.
The law has been in force since 1995 and has been amended several times.
The amendment bill defines what are considered occupational accidents when the No. 8 or a higher typhoon signal (No. 9 and No. 10) is hoisted.
The situations defined in the bill include any possible injuries or diseases resulting from incidents employees may encounter two hours before or after work when they are on the way to their workplace or on their way home.
The bill also states the insurance must cover any possible accidents that affect employees who are on the way to work by transport provided or managed by their employers, or any incidents employees may encounter if they are asked to take part in training courses when the No. 8 or a higher typhoon signal is hoisted.
The bill also states the exemption that if employees do not need to work during the No. 8 or a higher typhoon signal, employers are not required to have them insured for that particular purpose.
Addressing the press conference, Antonio Felix Pontes, a board member of the Macau Monetary Authority (AMCM), said that employers must buy insurance for their employees if the latter must work when the No. 8 or a higher typhoon signal is hoisted. It not, they would be breaking the law.
Regarding the bill stating that it would take effect 60 days after its promulgation, Pontes said that employers did not need to wait for the expiry of their current employee insurance contracts since they just needed an insurance endorsement to change the original cover once the law takes effect.
He also said the cost of the insurance should be about 0.4 percent of the wages of the respective employees.
Also addressing the press conference, Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) Vice Director Teng Nga Kan said the government would keep a close eye on the situation once the law is in force, adding that anyone found guilty of breaking the law would be fined.
The amendment bill needs to be submitted to the Legislative Assembly (AL) for debate and vote. If passed by lawmakers, it must be promulgated in the Official Gazette (BO) before it can take effect.(macaunews/macaupost)