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Work-Related Injury Insurance to Cover More

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China will expand the coverage of work-related injury insurance, said an amendment to the Regulation on Work-Related Injury Insurance released by the State Council Friday.

The current regulation includes only enterprises and small businesses and their employees in the system while the amended decree covers the country's public institutions, social groups, non-profit grass-root organizations, foundations, law firms and accounting firms.

A spokesman for the State Council's Legislative Affairs Office said Friday that the current regulation came into effect in 2004, with employees covered by the insurance system tripling over the past six years, from 45.75 million before the promulgation of the regulation to 158 million as of September.

As of September, total work-related injury insurance premiums totaled 108.9 billion yuan (about US$16.4 billion) while 64.9 billion yuan had been paid in compensation.

The newly amended regulation, which has been approved and signed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, will include injuries employees sustain when commuting.

Moreover, the new regulation raises compensation rates for each work-related injury.

The current regulation stipulates that the compensation to families of workers who die on the posts is no more than five times the average annual salary in the previous year. The sum varies depending on the regions where the workers are working.

According to the spokesman, under the current system, the national average compensation is about 100,000 yuan, but the lowest regional average compensation is about 40,000 yuan.

The new regulation raises the compensation to 20 times the national annual disposable income for urbanites per capita in the previous year, which means about 340,000 yuan according to 2009 statistics.

The new regulation will take effect from Jan. 1, 2011.

(Xinhua News Agency December 25, 2010)


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