5. How is sickness allowance calculated? When will I be entitled to sickness allowance?
Sickness allowance is a sum equivalent to four-fifths of the normal wages that employees would have earned if they had worked.
For employees who are employed on piece rates or whose daily wages vary from day to day, the sickness allowance should be a sum that is equivalent to the average daily wages earned on the days of a complete wage period. The wage period should be a period of not less than 28 days and not more than 31 days immediately preceding or expiring on the first sickness day. Sickness allowance should be paid to the employee not later than the normal pay day.
In general, employees are entitled to sickness allowance if:
- the sick leave taken is not less than four consecutive days (unless for any day off taken by a female employee for pregnancy check-ups, post confinement medical treatment or miscarriage);
- the sick leave is supported by an appropriate medical certificate; and
- they have accumulated sufficient number of paid sickness days. (Note: Paid sickness days can be accumulated up to a maximum of 120 days. It is accumulated at the rate of 2 paid sickness days for each completed month of employment under a continuous contract during the first 12 months of employment, and 4 paid sickness days per month thereafter.)
Employees are NOT be entitled to sickness allowance under the following circumstances:
- the employee, without reasonable excuse, refuses treatment by a company doctor of a medical scheme that is recognised by the Director of Health or disregards the advice of that doctor;
- the sickness day falls on a statutory holiday on which the employee is entitled to holiday pay; or
- compensation is payable under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance.
Offences and Penalties
Employers who fail to pay sickness allowance to employees are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of $50,000.