asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how the Hong Kong Labour Department's figures for industrial accidents are collected and classified; what areas of industry are specifically excluded; and what percentage of the Hong Kong industrial work force is exempted by the legislation as being small employers.
Employers in industrial undertakings are required, under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Regulations, to report any accident which incapacitates a worker for one day or more to the Factory Inspectorate. Employers must also report accidents which result in death or incapacitate a worker for more than three days to the Commissioner for Labour, in accordance with the Workmen's Compensation Ordinance. Statistics are classified by industry (ISIC code), cause, age, sex, occupation, percentage disability, insurance status, monthly earnings of injured, duration of lost time and total compensation. No areas of industry are specifically excluded. There is no provision for exemption for reporting industrial accidents on the grounds of the size of the undertaking.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the statistics for accidents issued by the Hong Kong Labour Department and those issued by Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate are broadly comparable in scope and detail; and, if not, to what extent and in what areas they differ.
No. The statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive in the United Kingdom cover accidents which involve an absence from work of more than three days, whereas Hong Kong's statistics include all known occupational accidents of whatever duration of absence.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he is satisfied with the existing workman's compensation legislation in Hong Kong; and if there are any plans to amend existing legislation to come in line with United Kingdom legislation.
I am generally satisfied with progress to date on workmen's compensation legislation. However, the Hong Kong Government will shortly be establishing a working party to review comprehensively the Workmen's Compensation Ordinance so as to identify any areas of deficiency and to recommend necessary amendments to the law.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many fatal accidents at work resulted in compensation claims in Hong Kong in the last year for which figures are available; how many claims were successful and how many unsuccessful; and how many are pending.
The information requested in respect of the year 1976 is as follows:
|Total number of cases||249|
|Number of successful claims||50|
|Number of unsuccessful claims||58|
|Claims dismissed by a Court||1|
|Claims dropped by dependants/or where there was no response from dependants||57|
|Claims settled out of Court||30|
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report the number of fatal accidents at work in Hong Kong during the past full year to the latest available date on which (a) no claim for compensation was made, and (b) claims were submitted but no award was made.
I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I have given to another of his Questions today.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the highest amount awarded in Hong Kong in compensation following a fatal industrial accident; and what were the lowest and average amounts awarded for the last year for which figures are available.
The highest amount awarded was $HK60,000—about£7,500. In 1976 the lowest amount awarded was$HK5,000—about£625—and the average amount awarded was $HK43,053—about£5,382. These amounts were paid under the Workmen's Compensation Ordinance. The workman is also entitled to claim civil damages where the injury is caused by the negligence or other wrongful act of the employer.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he now expects to receive the report of the Turner Committee on Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement.
Professor Turner's inquiries have reached an interim stage and my center hon. Friend has decided to ask him to complete his study and to submit a full report at a later date. I cannot yet say when Professor Turner's report will be available.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Turner Committee will consider and make any recommendations concerning industrial accident compensation in Hong Kong.
No. The terms of reference for Professor Turner's study of labour relations in Hong Kong do not embrace the question of compensation for industrial accidents.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he intends to place a copy of the Turner Committee report on Hong Kong in the Library when he receives it.
I cannot say whether the report will be placed in the Library until Professor Turner has completed and submitted it.