China's Supreme People's Court has provided guidance regarding the scope of work-related injuries in China. The guidance is set out in the Provisions on Certain Issues in Work-related Injury Insurance, which came into force on 1 September 2014 ("SPC Provisions").
Work-related Injuries under the SPC Provisions
The SPC Provisions have clarified which injuries might be work-related injuries:
- Injuries at work during working hours and in the workplace will be work-related if the injuries:
- arise from the performance of work during working hours and in the work place, except if the employer or the labor authority can prove that the injury is not work-related;
- occur when the employee participates in activities organized by the employer or in which the employer directs participation; or
- arise from the performance of work during working hours within a reasonable distance from the workplace or while commuting between workplaces.
- Injuries during work-related travel will be work-related if the employee is injured when:
- engaged in work-related activities outside the workplace as directed by the employer or required by the work;
- assigned by the employer to study or attend a meeting outside the workplace; or
- engaged in other activities outside the workplace as required by the work.
- Injuries arising from traffic accidents during commuting to/from work will be work-related if an employee is injured when :
- commuting between the workplace and the employee's residence via a reasonable route and within a reasonable time;
- commuting between the workplace and the residence of the employee's spouse, parent or child via a reasonable route and within a reasonable time; or
- commuting via a reasonable route within a reasonable time during which the employee does something necessary for his/her daily work or life.
Action Items for Employers
This clarification should highlight the importance of workplace health and safety for all employees. To best protect their positions, employers should be prepared to collect evidence as to an employee's injury both in and outside the workplace. They should also take steps to ensure employee safety, including giving clear safety instructions for both in or outside the office, and ensure that employee-related insurance policies are up-to-date