Off-The-Clock Occupational Accident

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Potential accidents may happen to workers of any job. However, it is rather complex to determine which ones are considered work accidents, especially when they arise out of working hours.

Vietnam Labor Code 2012 stipulates: “Occupational accident is an accident that causes injury to any part and function of the body or death to employees, occurring during the working process and associated with the implementation of work and labor tasks.” This regulation also applies to apprentices, trainees and employees on probation.

To clarify the aforementioned regulation, Decree No. 45/2013/NĐ-CP (hereinafter referred to as “Decree 45”) elaborates that accidents arising during “breaks, mid-shift meals, snack breaks, menstrual hygiene maintenance time, showers, breastfeeding time, restroom breaks, work preparation and completion at the workplace” are also deemed work accidents.

Additionally, Decree 45 states that “accidents occurring at a reasonable location and time” (while workers travel to or from the workplace) are considered occupational accidents as well. According to Decree No. 152/2006/NĐ-CP (hereinafter referred to as “Decree 152”), “reasonable” time means the period during which workers arrive at work before working hours or return home after work. Decree 152, on the other hand, has no regulations on reasonable locations. Instead, it expressively states that accidents happening on reasonable routes, on which employees regularly travel between their permanent residence or registered temporary residence and their workplace, are considered work accidents.

Furthermore, according to Decree 152, accidents arising outside of the workplace or out of working hours while workers are conducting the tasks required by their employer are also deemed work accidents.

Therefore, occupational accidents are not limited to the ones occurring at work but also those happening off the clock or outside of the workplace while employees are carrying out work and labor tasks at a reasonable place and time.

In case where an employee suffers from occupational accidents thus being absent from work during injury treatment, his employer is responsible for the cost of such treatment and full payment of wages under the labor contract in accordance with the regulations of Vietnam Labor Code. Furthermore, if a work accident happens not due to the employee’s fault and his work ability therefore is decreased by 5% or more, his employer must compensate correspondingly to the level of reduced work ability of the employee. Specific amounts of such compensation shall be prescribed based on regulations of Vietnamese laws. 

PLF Law Firm 

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