SEOUL, Sept. 29 (Korea Bizwire) – Workers who experience accidents during their commute will now be eligible for compensation, as new legislation has been passed at the National Assembly to categorize commuting as a continuation of work.
During a plenary session on Thursday, the new legislative amendment of the current Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act was passed by the National Assembly, which will see workers being compensated for accidents during their commute, whether by public transport, car, bicycle or even while walking.
Under the new legislation, accidents during a commute will fall under the category of workplace accidents, which means commuters who fall victim to car accidents will now be able to claim benefits for occupational health and safety, as well as under car insurance plans.
Previously, the definition of “workplace accidents” did not include most accidents that occurred during a commute other than those occurring under the supervision of business owners (e.g. accidents while driving a company car), disallowing victims to claim compensation for injuries on duty.
Under the new workplace safety reform legislation however, commuters using a wide range of modes of transport, including vehicles, buses, trains, and bicycles will also be compensated for accidents on their way to and from work.
In addition, workers who get into accidents outside their usual commuting routes, such as on their way to a grocery store or hospital, will also be able to claim industrial accident compensation.
However, it is worth nothing that occupations like taxi drivers, whose commuting routes are not clear, will only be able to benefit from occupational health and safety insurance, while workers who travel to and from their workplace are eligible to claim compensation from both occupational health and safety insurance, as well as car insurance.
The new amendment bill by the National Assembly falls in line with the government’s efforts in recent years to improve workers’ rights in the country.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Employment and Labor announced plans to launch a government-backed counseling program for victims of industrial accidents who suffer from trauma, including sleep disorder and seizures, following growing calls to help those with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)