Responsibilities of employers when happening occupational accidents

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Responsibilities of employers when happening occupational accidents

In 2019, according to a report by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the number of occupational accidents across the country was 8,150, causing 8,327 victims, of which 979 were killed. The occurrence of an occupational accident causes workers to suffer material losses and declines in their work capacity. Meanwhile, the employers will incur responsibilities to compensate or provide benefits to the workers. Therefore, both workers and employers need to know the rights and obligations that arise when an occupational accident occurs.

Determining occupational accidents 

Vietnamese law stipulates that employers will incur obligations to pay compensation or benefits to workers when an occupational accident occurs. Therefore, determining how an accident is considered as an occupational accident is an important issue because it directly affects the rights and obligations of both workers and employers.

According to the definition of Labor Code 2012 and Law on Occupational Safety and Health 2015, “Occupational accident means an accident that causes injuries to any bodily part and function of a worker or causes death, and occurs during the course of work, in connection with his performance of a job or a task”. As this definition, an accident is considered an occupational accident when there are two factors: (i) occurring during the labour process, and (ii) associated with the performance of work and labour duties. Depending on the determination of the worker’s fault factor, the employer makes compensation or allowance for the worker.

In addition, according to Clause 2 Article 39 of the Law on Occupational Safety and Health 2015, where a worker gets an occupational accident while on duty or obeys the management outside the enterprise, which is caused by the fault of another person or the cause of the accident is unknown; the employer is still responsible for the worker’s compensation.

Responsibilities of the employer 

As stipulated in Article 38 of the Law on Occupational Safety and Health 2015, employers are responsible for workers suffering from occupational accidents as follows:

  • Promptly give first aid and emergency aid to the worker and advance payment for first aid, emergency aid, and treatment for the worker;
  • Recommend the employee for medical assessment of decreased work capacity, treatment, convalescence and health rehabilitation as prescribed;
  • Pay for first aid, emergency aid, and treatment for the worker until his health become stable, including:
    • Co-payment and costs not covered by health insurance for the worker if the worker has health insurance;
    • Payment for medical assessment of decreased work capacity if the worker’s working capacity decreases by under 5% as concluded by the Medical Examination Council;
    • Full payment for treatment for the worker if he has not heath insurance.
  • Pay full salary for the worker if he is absent from work during the treatment and health rehabilitation period;
  • Pay compensation or allowances for the worker, depending on whether the occupational accident is entirely the fault of the worker. Specifically:
    • The employer shall pay compensation for the employee suffering from occupational accident that is not entirely his/her fault and the employee suffering occupational disease as follows:
      • At least 1.5 months’ salary for the worker whose working capacity decrease is between 5% and 10%; 0.4 month’s salary shall be add for each additional 1% working capacity decrease regarding the worker whose working capacity decrease is between 11% and 80%;
      • At least 30 months’ salary for the employee working capacity decrease is at least 81% or for the worker’s relatives if the worker dies from an occupational accident or an occupational disease.
    • Allowance for the worker who suffers from an occupational accident which is his own fault, the amount of money equal to at least 40% of the above-prescribed level with the corresponding working capacity decrease.
  • Assign works appropriate for the worker’s health according to the conclusion of Medical Examination Council after treatment and health rehabilitation if the worker keeps working.

Cases where workers are not entitled to benefits when an occupational accident occurs

Workers will not be entitled to any of the benefits listed above in one of the following situations:

  • Conflict between the worker and the person causing the accident not relating their works or tasks;
  • The worker deliberately ruins his own health;
  • The worker uses drugs or other narcotic substances against of law.

An occupational accident is an undesirable event for both workers and employers. Therefore, understanding rights and obligations will help workers and employers be well prepared in the event of an occupational accident.

If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact Apolat Legal – An International Law Firm in Viet Nam.

This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.