Question 99: An accident happening to Employees while they commute between the residence and the workplace is a labour accident, isn’t it?

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  1. Accidents happening on the way between the residence and the workplace

A labour accident is one that causes injuries to any bodily part or function, or leads to the Employee’s death and occurs while the Employee is working, which relates to the job or task being performed[1].

Pursuant to the Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene, Employees who have accidents while they commute between the residence and the workplace within the reasonable time-frame and route will be entitled to allowances and compensations paid by the Employer and the regime of labour accident provided by the labour accident, occupational disease insurance fund, as prescribed by the Law on SI.[2]

Considering the above regulations, accidents happening on the way between the residence and the workplace can be considered labour accidents if they happen within the reasonable time-frame and route. In other words, the location and time at which the accident occurs are the two factors to determine if an accident is a labour accident. However, currently the Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene as well as its guiding documents do not have any regulations to help determine the factor “within the reasonable time-frame and route” as a basis to decide if an accident is a labour accident. By a reference to superseded regulations, “within the reasonable time-frame and route” is construed as follows[3]:

  • “The reasonable time-frame” means the time necessary for the Employee to travel to the workplace or travel back home after working hours; and
  • “The reasonable route” means the regular route that the Employee takes to travel back and forth between the permanent or temporary residence and the workplace.

According to the regulations above, the factor “within the reasonable time-frame and route” to decide if an accident is a labour accident will depend largely on the judgment of the competent authority which is in charge of investigating the accident. Only if the authority determines that the accident satisfies the conditions on the location and time will this accident be considered a labour accident, and then the Employee may be entitled to allowances, compensations and the regime of labour accident as regulated by law.

If the Employee has a labour accident while commuting between the residence and the workplace and it is not due to his faults or the person causing the accident cannot be identified, the Employer shall have to pay allowances to the Employee depending on his decrease of working capacity[4]:

In addition, Employees will not be entitled to this regime if the accident happens due to one of the following causes[5]:

When an accident happening on the way between the residence and the workplace is determined as a labour accident, in addition to the allowances paid by the Employer as mentioned in Section 2 above, Employees who participate in compulsory SI are also entitled to the regime of labour accident provided by the labour accident, occupational disease insurance fund-a component fund of the SI Fund, as prescribed by the Law on SI.

Specifically, Employees who have accidents on the way between the residence and the workplace will be entitled to the regime of labour accident if their working capacity is decreased by 5% or above[6]. And such accident happens not due to one of the causes mentioned in Section 2 above[7]. The Employee will be entitled to the labour accident allowance based on the decrease of working capacity, the level and time of contribution to the labour accident, occupational disease fund[8].


[1]Article 142 Labor Code and Article 3.8 Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene

[2]Article 39.2 and 45.1.(c) Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene

[3]Article 19.3 Decree 152/2006/NĐ-CP dated 22/12/2006

[4]Articles 38.4, 38.5 and 39.2 Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene

[5]Article 40 Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene

[6]Article 45.2 Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene

[7]Articles 40 and 45.3 Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene

[8]Article 41.3 Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene