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REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE
GOVERNMENT GAZETTE
ACTS SUPPLEMENT
Published by Authority

NO. 6] Friday, February 29 [2008

The following Act was passed by Parliament on 22nd January 2008 and assented to by the President on 6th February 2008:—
Workmen’s Compensation (Amendment) Act 2008

(No. 5 of 2008)


I assent.

S R NATHAN
President
6th February 2008.
Date of Commencement: 1st April 2008
An Act to amend the Workmen’s Compensation Act (Chapter 354 of the 1998 Revised Edition) and to make consequential amendments to certain other written laws.
Be it enacted by the President with the advice and consent of the Parliament of Singapore, as follows:
Short title and commencement
1.  This Act may be cited as the Workmen’s Compensation (Amendment) Act 2008 and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.
Amendment of long title
2.  The long title to the Workmen’s Compensation Act (referred to in this Act as the principal Act) is amended by deleting the word “workmen” and substituting the word “employees”.
Amendment of section 1
3.  Section 1 of the principal Act is amended by deleting the word “Workmen’s” and substituting the words “Work Injury”.
Amendment of section 2
4.  Section 2 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by deleting the word “declared” in the definition of “approved hospital” in subsection (1) and substituting the word “prescribed”;
(b)
by inserting, immediately after the definition of “approved hospital” in subsection (1), the following definition:
“ “Assistant Commissioner” means any person appointed as an Assistant Commissioner (Work Injury Compensation) under section 2A;”;
(c)
by deleting the words “, and includes any officer to whom the Commissioner has delegated all or any of the powers conferred or duties imposed upon the Commissioner by this Act” in the definition of “Commissioner” in subsection (1);
(d)
by deleting the definition of “domestic servant” in subsection (1);
(e)
by deleting the words “in cash” in the definition of “earnings” in subsection (1);
(f)
by inserting, immediately after the definition of “earnings” in subsection (1), the following definition:
“ “employee” means any person who has entered into or works under a contract of service or apprenticeship with an employer, whether —
(a)
by way of manual labour or otherwise;
(b)
the contract is express or implied or is oral or in writing; and
(c)
the remuneration is calculated by time or by work done,
but does not include any class of persons specified in the Fourth Schedule;”;
(g)
by inserting, immediately after the definition of “injury” in subsection (1), the following definition:
“ “investigation officer” means any person appointed as an investigation officer under section 2A;”;
(h)
by deleting the definition of “outworker” in subsection (1);
(i)
by inserting, immediately after the definition of “total incapacity” in subsection (1), the following definition:
“ “workplace” means any premises where a person is at work or is to work, for the time being works, or customarily works.”;
(j)
by deleting the definition of “workman” in subsection (1); and
(k)
by inserting, immediately after subsection (4), the following subsection:
(4A)  This Act shall apply to an accident happening, on or after the date of commencement of this subsection to any seaman onboard any Singapore ship within the meaning of the Merchant Shipping Act (Cap. 179), whether the ship was within or outside Singapore at the time of the accident.”.
New sections 2A and 2B
5.  The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after section 2, the following sections:
Appointment of Assistant Commissioners, investigation officers and authorised persons
2A.
—(1)  The Commissioner may appoint such number of public officers as Assistant Commissioners (Work Injury Compensation) and investigation officers and such persons as authorised persons, as may be necessary to assist the Commissioner in the administration of this Act.
(2)  The Commissioner may delegate the exercise of all or any of the powers conferred or duties imposed upon him by this Act (except the power of delegation conferred by this subsection) to any Assistant Commissioner, investigation officer or authorised person, subject to such conditions or limitations as the Commissioner may specify.
Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner and investigation officer to be public servants
2B.  The Commissioner and every Assistant Commissioner and investigation officer shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of the Penal Code (Cap. 224).”.
Insertion of Division heading to Part II
6.  Part II of the principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately before section 3, the following Division heading:
Division 1 — Entitlement and liability for compensation”.
Amendment of section 3
7.  Section 3 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by deleting the words “unless the injury results in the death or permanent incapacity causing a loss of not less than 50% of the earning capacity of the workman” in subsection (5)(a);
(b)
by inserting, immediately after subsection (5), the following subsection:
(5A)  In this section, “drug” means —
(a)
a controlled drug within the meaning of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap. 185); or
(b)
a prescription only drug specified for the purposes of section 29 of the Medicines Act (Cap. 176) that is not prescribed by a medical practitioner for the employee’s consumption or use.”; and
(c)
by deleting the words “a workman’s” in subsection (6) and substituting the words “an employee’s”.
Amendment of section 4
8.  Section 4 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by deleting subsection (1) and substituting the following subsection:
(1)  If —
(a)
an employee who is employed in any occupation specified in the second column of the Second Schedule contracts an occupational disease specified in the first column of that Schedule opposite that occupation; or
(b)
an employee who has been employed in that occupation contracts that disease within the period specified in the third column of that Schedule opposite that occupation after ceasing to be so employed,
and the incapacity or death of the employee results from that disease, compensation shall be payable as if the disease were a personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of that employment, and all the other provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly, subject to this section.”;
(b)
by deleting subsection (3) and substituting the following subsection:
(3)  No compensation shall be payable by an employer under this section in respect of the incapacity or death of an employee resulting from the employee contracting an occupational disease if the employee’s incapacity commences or his death happens more than the period specified in the third column of the Second Schedule opposite the disease after the employee ceases to be in his employment.”;
(c)
by inserting, immediately before the word “disease” in subsections (4), (5) and (6), the word “occupational”;
(d)
by inserting, immediately after the words “For all other purposes of this Act,” in subsection (5), the words “in a claim for compensation under this section,”; and
(e)
by deleting the words “a disease” in subsection (7) and substituting the words “an occupational disease”.
Amendment of section 6
9.  Section 6 of the principal Act is amended by deleting subsection (1) and substituting the following subsection:
(1)  Compensation under this Act shall be payable to or for the benefit of the employee or, where death results from the injury, to the deceased employee’s estate or to or for the benefit of his dependants as provided by this Act.”.
Repeal and re-enactment of sections 7 and 8
10.  Sections 7 and 8 of the principal Act are repealed and the following Division heading and sections substituted therefor:
Division 2 — Computation of compensation
Amount of compensation
7.  The amount of compensation under this Act in respect of any personal injury of an employee caused by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment shall be computed in accordance with the Third Schedule.
Method of calculating earnings
8.
—(1)  For the purposes of this Act, the earnings of an employee shall be computed in such manner as is best calculated to give his true monthly earnings at the date of the accident, subject to the following provisions:
(a)
where the employee has been employed by the employer for whom he was working at the time of the accident for a continuous period which is more than a month immediately preceding the accident, his monthly earnings shall be the average amount of his earnings during the continuous period of not more than 12 months immediately preceding the accident;
(b)
where the employee has been employed by the employer for whom he was working at the time of the accident for a continuous period which is a month immediately preceding the accident or shorter, his monthly earnings shall be the actual earnings he would have received for the whole month immediately preceding the accident; and
(c)
where reliable evidence of the earnings of the relevant employee under paragraph (a) or (b) does not exist or cannot be adduced without undue delay or expense, regard may be had to evidence of the earnings of employees employed on similar work in the same locality at or about the date of the accident.
(2)  Where an employee is employed under contracts of service with 2 or more employers under which he worked at one time for one such employer and at another time for another such employer, his monthly earnings shall be computed as if his earnings under all such contracts were earnings in the employment of the employer for whom he was working at the time of the accident, except contracts of service that the last-mentioned employer does not know.”.
Amendment of section 9
11.  Section 9 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by deleting paragraph (a) of subsection (1A) and substituting the following paragraph:
(a)
in respect of injury which has resulted in the death or permanent incapacity of the employee, authorise payment of compensation to be made directly to —
(i)
an employee who is not less than 18 years of age;
(ii)
one or more of the dependants of the deceased employee and in such proportion as the Commissioner thinks fit, except that where a will has been produced, such payment may instead be made directly to the estate of the deceased employee; or
(iii)
any committee or committees of the employee and estate of the employee appointed under the Mental Disorders and Treatment Act (Cap. 178) where the employee has become mentally incapacitated;”;
(b)
by deleting subsection (4) and substituting the following subsections:
(4)  Compensation deposited in respect of an accident resulting in the death of an employee may be apportioned among one or more of the dependants of the deceased employee and in such proportion as the Commissioner thinks fit, except that where a will has been produced, such compensation may instead be paid to the estate of the deceased employee.
(4A)  Compensation deposited in respect of an accident resulting in the permanent incapacity of an employee who, before the payment of such compensation is made, becomes mentally incapacitated may be payable to —
(a)
any one or more of the dependants of the employee; or
(b)
any committee or committees of the employee and estate of the employee appointed under the Mental Disorders and Treatment Act (Cap. 178).”; and
(c)
by deleting the words “a monthly payment” in subsection (5A) and substituting the words “any periodical payment of compensation for temporary incapacity”.
Amendment of section 10
12.  Section 10 of the principal Act is amended by deleting the words “lump sum or monthly payment” and substituting the words “payment of compensation”.
Amendment of section 11
13.  Section 11(1) of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by deleting the word “and” at the end of paragraph (a); and
(b)
by deleting the full-stop at the end of paragraph (b) and substituting the word “; and”, and by inserting immediately thereafter the following paragraph:
(c)
the claim has been made in such form and manner as the Commissioner may determine.”.
Amendment of section 12
14.  Section 12 of the principal Act is amended by deleting subsections (1) and (2) and substituting the following subsection:
(1)  Every employer shall give notice to —
(a)
the Commissioner in such form and manner as the Commissioner may determine; and
(b)
his insurer in writing,
of the occurrence of every prescribed event that may give rise to a claim for compensation under this Act within the time prescribed for that event.”.
New section 12A
15.  The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after section 12, the following section:
Change of address
12A.
—(1)  Where any claim for compensation has been made under this Act by an employee or by a person acting on behalf of an employee who is dead or mentally incapacitated, and the Commissioner has reason to believe that there is a change during the currency of the claim in the address used by the employee or the person for the purposes of the claim, the Commissioner may serve a notice on the employee or the person, as the case may be, requesting for particulars of any change in address.
(2)  Subject to subsection (3), the employee or the person acting on behalf of an employee who is dead or mentally incapacitated, as the case may be, on whom the Commissioner has served a notice under subsection (1) shall, within a period of 14 days after the service of the notice, inform the employee’s employer and the Commissioner, in writing or in person, of any change in address.
(3)  Subsection (2) shall not apply if the compensation has been fully paid in accordance with this Act.
(4)  Notwithstanding section 13(4), if an employee or the person acting on behalf of an employee who is dead or mentally incapacitated fails, without reasonable cause, to notify the Commissioner of any change in the address as is required by subsection (2), the employee’s right to compensation shall be suspended from the 15th day after the Commissioner has served a notice under subsection (1) on the employee or the person, as the case may be.
(5)  Any suspension under subsection (4) shall cease upon the employee or the person acting on behalf of an employee who is dead or mentally incapacitated, as the case may be, providing the particulars of any change in the address used by the employee or the person for the purposes of the claim.
(6)  If at the end of 3 months after the Commissioner has served a notice referred to in subsection (1), the employee or the person acting on behalf of an employee who is dead or mentally incapacitated, as the case may be, still fails to provide the particulars of any change in the address to the Commissioner as requested by that notice, then notwithstanding section 13(4), no compensation under this Act shall be payable in respect of the claim to which the notice relates unless the Commissioner is satisfied that there was reasonable cause for the failure.”.
Amendment of section 13
16.  Section 13 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by deleting subsection (1) and substituting the following subsection:
(1)  When notice of an accident has been given to an employer by an employee or on the employee’s behalf, the employer shall, before the expiry of the 5th day after the giving of the notice, offer to have the employee examined free of charge by a medical practitioner, and the employee shall submit himself for such medical examination.”;
(b)
by deleting the words “Any workman” in subsection (1A) and substituting the words “Any employee”;
(c)
by deleting the words “a monthly payment” in subsection (1A) and substituting the words “any periodical payment of compensation for temporary incapacity”;
(d)
by deleting the words “A workman” in subsection (1B) and substituting the words “An employee”;
(e)
by deleting subsection (2);
(f)
by deleting the words “6 months” in the 5th line of subsection (3) and substituting the words “3 months”;
(g)
by inserting, immediately after the word “dependants” in subsection (5), the words “or the estate”;
(h)
by deleting the words “monthly payments” in the 1st line of subsection (7)(a) and substituting the words “any periodical payment of compensation for temporary incapacity”; and
(i)
by deleting the word “monthly” in the 3rd and 8th lines of subsection (7)(a).
Amendment of section 14
17.  Section 14 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by deleting the words “by notification in the Gazette declare” in subsection (1) and substituting the word “prescribe”;
(b)
by deleting subsections (2), (3) and (4) and substituting the following subsections:
(2)  Where personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment is caused to ––
(a)
an employee and the injured employee receives medical treatment by a medical practitioner or at an approved hospital for his injury, being medical treatment that is certified by any attending medical practitioner to be necessary; or
(b)
an employee referred to in section 2(4) or (4A) and the injured employee receives medical treatment ––
(i)
outside Singapore for the accident which occurs outside Singapore; and
(ii)
which, in the view of the Commissioner, requires immediate medical treatment due to the nature of injury suffered by the employee,
the employer of the employee shall be liable to pay compensation in accordance with paragraph 5 of the Third Schedule for the medical treatment received by the employee.
(3)  Any compensation under subsection (2) for medical treatment received by an employee at an approved hospital for personal injury by any accident arising out of and in the course of the employment shall be paid directly to the proprietor of the approved hospital, after deducting any amount previously paid by the employee in relation to the medical treatment; and the proprietor of an approved hospital shall be entitled to recover such compensation (less those deductions) directly from the employer.
(4)  Where an employee has paid for the cost of any medical treatment which an employer is liable to pay under subsection (2), the employee shall be entitled to recover such cost from the employer.”; and
(c)
by deleting the section heading and substituting the following section heading:
Compensation for medical treatment”.
New section 14A
18.  The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after section 14, the following section:
Payment of compensation for temporary incapacity
14A.
—(1)  Where any injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment results in the temporary incapacity of an employee, the compensation the employer shall pay to the employee shall be a periodical payment of the amount prescribed in paragraph 4 of the Third Schedule.
(2)  Such compensation in respect of injury resulting in temporary incapacity of an employee shall be in accordance with paragraph 4 of the Third Schedule, and shall be payable not later than the same day as earnings would have been payable to the employee under the contract of service or apprenticeship under which he was employed at the time of the accident (except that the interval between periodical payments shall in no case exceed one month) even though —
(a)
no claim for compensation in respect of that injury is made under this Act; or
(b)
a claim for compensation in respect of that injury has not been assessed or determined by the Commissioner.
(3)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Commissioner may order the employee to refund to the employer any payment made by the employer under subsection (1) if —
(a)
the employee fails to make any claim for compensation within the time limited by and in accordance with section 11;
(b)
the employee withdraws his claim for compensation;
(c)
the Commissioner has determined that no compensation be paid to the employee; or
(d)
it has come to the attention of the Commissioner that the employee has made a false claim.”.
Amendment of section 17
19.  Section 17 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by deleting the word “contractor” wherever it appears in subsection (1) and substituting in each case the word “employer”;
(b)
by inserting, immediately after subsection (1), the following subsection:
(1A)  For the purposes of this section, the Commissioner shall, in his discretion and notwithstanding any claim by the employee, determine that a claim for compensation be made, or a recovery of compensation be obtained, against the principal or the employer.”;
(c)
by inserting, immediately after the words “Where a claim has been” in subsection (2), the words “determined by the Commissioner to be”;
(d)
by deleting subsection (4) and substituting the following subsection:
(4)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the Commissioner from ordering the compensation under this Act to be recovered from the employer instead of the principal, and a claim so determined by the Commissioner to be made against a principal or an employer, as the case may be, shall not bar subsequent proceedings under this Act against the other to recover so much of the compensation as may remain unpaid.”; and
(e)
by deleting the section heading and substituting the following section heading:
Liability of principals”.
Amendment of section 18
20.  Section 18 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by inserting, immediately after the words “some person other than the employer”, the words “(referred to in this section as the third party)”;
(b)
by deleting the word “workman” in paragraphs (a) and (b) and substituting in each case the word “employee”;
(c)
by deleting the words “that person” in paragraph (a) and substituting the words “the third party”;
(d)
by deleting the words “by the person” in paragraph (b) and substituting the words “by the third party”; and
(e)
by renumbering the section as subsection (1) of that section, and by inserting immediately thereafter the following subsection:
(2)  Where any injury is caused to an employee by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment under circumstances which give a right to recover reduced damages in respect thereof from a third party by virtue of any wilful act or negligence of the employer or employee, any right conferred by subsection (1) on —
(a)
the person by whom any compensation under this Act was paid; and
(b)
any person who has been called upon to pay an indemnity under section 17(3),
to be indemnified by the third party shall be limited to a right to be indemnified in respect of such part only of the total compensation paid or payable in such proportion as the court may determine as is appropriate to the degree to which the injury was attributable to the act, default or negligence of the third party.”.
Repeal and re-enactment of section 22
21.  Section 22 of the principal Act is repealed and the following section substituted therefor:
Commissioner may receive and pay to dependants, etc., money due to dead or mentally incapacitated employee from employer
22.
—(1)  Notwithstanding anything in any written law relating to the administration or distribution of estates of deceased persons for the time being in force in Singapore, where it appears to the Commissioner that compensation or interest is payable to an employee under this Act and the employee has died before such payment is made, it shall be lawful for the Commissioner to receive and pay the compensation or interest, without production of a grant of representation, to any one or more of the dependants of the deceased employee or to the estate of the deceased employee.
(2)  Where it appears to the Commissioner that compensation or interest is payable to an employee under this Act and the employee is mentally incapacitated before such payment is made, it shall be lawful for the Commissioner to receive and pay the compensation or interest to any one or more of the dependants of the employee for the benefit of the employee without the appointment of any committee or committees of the employee and estate of the employee required under the Mental Disorders and Treatment Act (Cap. 178).”.
Repeal and re-enactment of section 23
22.  Section 23 of the principal Act is repealed and the following section substituted therefor:
Compulsory insurance against employer’s liability
23.
—(1)  Every employer shall insure and maintain insurance under one or more approved policies with an insurer within the meaning of the Insurance Act (Cap. 142) against all liabilities which he may incur under the provisions of this Act in respect of any employee employed by him unless the Minister, by notification in the Gazette, waives the requirement of such insurance in relation to any employer.
(2)  The Minister may, from time to time, prescribe the minimum amounts for which an employer shall insure himself in respect of any of his liabilities under this Act.
(3)  For the avoidance of doubt, an employer shall be liable to pay any liability that he may incur under this Act in excess of the insurance limits that the Minister may prescribe under subsection (2).
(4)  In this section, “approved policy” means a policy of insurance not subject to any conditions or exceptions prohibited by regulations made under this Act.
(5)  Any conditions or exceptions imposed in a policy of insurance by any insurer which are prohibited by regulations made under this Act shall not absolve the insurer’s liability under the policy.”.
Amendment of section 24
23.  Section 24 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by deleting subsection (2) and substituting the following subsection:
(2)  The Commissioner shall cause to be served on the employer and the person claiming compensation for any injury resulting from an accident —
(a)
a notice of assessment of compensation stating the amount of the compensation payable in accordance with the assessment made by the Commissioner under subsection (1); or
(b)
a notice of assessment of compensation stating that no compensation is payable if the Commissioner is of the view that the injury to which the claim relates did not arise out of or in the course of the person’s employment or that the person was not an employee within the meaning of this Act.”;
(b)
by deleting subsection (3) and substituting the following subsections:
(3)  A notice of assessment of compensation referred to in subsection (2)(a) that is served under subsection (2) on an employer and the person claiming compensation shall be deemed to have been agreed upon by the employer and the person claiming compensation, and shall have the effect of an order under section 25D on —
(a)
the 15th day after the notice is served where no objection is received by the Commissioner within a period of 14 days after the service of the notice; or
(b)
the 29th day after the notice is served where all objections so received by the Commissioner are withdrawn within a period of 28 days after the service of the notice.
(3A)  Any notice of assessment of compensation referred to in subsection (2)(b) that is served under subsection (2) on an employer and the person claiming compensation shall have the effect of an order under section 25D on the 15th day after the notice of assessment is served if no objection is received by the Commissioner within a period of 14 days after the service of the notice.
(3B)  No appeal shall lie against any order under subsection (3) or (3A).”;
(c)
by deleting subsection (4) and substituting the following subsection:
(4)  The employer shall pay the amount of compensation determined to the Commissioner or such person claiming compensation as the Commissioner may direct —
(a)
within a period of 21 days after the service of a notice of assessment of compensation on the employer if no objection is received by the Commissioner within the time limited under subsection (3)(a); or
(b)
within a period of 35 days after the service of a notice of assessment of compensation on the employer if all objections so received by the Commissioner are withdrawn within the time limited under subsection (3)(b).”;
(d)
by deleting subsection (5);
(e)
by deleting the words “silicosis or asbestosis” in subsection (6) and substituting the words “any prescribed occupational disease specified in the Second Schedule”;
(f)
by inserting, immediately before the word “disease” in subsection (6), the word “occupational”; and
(g)
by deleting subsections (9) and (10).
Repeal and re-enactment of section 25
24.  Section 25 of the principal Act is repealed and the following section substituted therefor:
Objection to notice of assessment
25.
—(1)  If any employer or person claiming compensation objects to any notice of assessment of compensation issued by the Commissioner under section 24(2), he shall, within a period of 14 days after the service of the notice of assessment (or such longer period as the Commissioner may, in his discretion, allow in any particular case), give notice of his objection in the prescribed form and manner to the Commissioner stating precisely the grounds of his objection.
(2)  The Commissioner shall disregard any ground of objection that is contained in any notice of objection given outside of the period allowed for objections under subsection (1).”.
New sections 25A to 25D
25.  The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after section 25, the following sections:
Power to make orders and give directions for determination of claim
25A.
—(1)  Notwithstanding anything in this Act, the Commissioner may, at any time after a claim for compensation has been made under section 11, make such order or give such direction as he thinks fit, including the direction for any person in relation to the claim to appear before him, for the determination of the claim.
(2)  Where any party fails to comply with any order made or direction given by the Commissioner under subsection (1), the Commissioner may dismiss the claim or make such other order as he thinks fit.
(3)  The Commissioner may, in exercising his powers under subsection (1), make such order as to costs as he thinks fit.
(4)  Any order or direction made or given against any person who does not appear before the Commissioner when directed to do so under subsection (1) may be set aside or varied by the Commissioner on such terms as he thinks just.
Pre-hearing conferences to be held when directed by Commissioner
25B.
—(1)  Without prejudice to the generality of section 25A(1), at any time after a claim for compensation has been made under section 11, the Commissioner may direct parties to attend a pre-hearing conference by serving a notice to the parties.
(2)  At the pre-hearing conference, the Commissioner may consider any matter including the possibility of settlement of all or any of the issues for the hearing and require the parties to furnish the Commissioner with any such information and document as he thinks fit, and may also give all such directions as appear to be necessary or desirable for the determination of any issue for hearing.
(3)  If any party defaults in complying with any such directions as may be given by the Commissioner under subsection (2), the Commissioner may, either in his own discretion or upon the application of any party, make a decision concerning the claim and in pursuance of that decision, make such order for payment of compensation as he thinks just.
(4)  Any order made under subsection (3) may be set aside or varied by the Commissioner, on the application of any party, on such terms, if any, as he thinks just.
(5)  At any time during the pre-hearing conference where the parties are agreeable to a settlement of some or all of the matters for hearing, the Commissioner may record that settlement and make an order to give effect to the settlement.
Failure to appear of one or more parties
25C.
—(1)  If, at the time appointed for the pre-hearing conference, one or more of the parties to the action or proceedings fail to attend, the Commissioner may make a decision concerning the claim and make such order as to compensation or costs as he thinks just.
(2)  An order made by the Commissioner in the absence of a party concerned or affected by the order may be set aside or varied by the Commissioner, on the application of that party, on such terms as he thinks just.
(3)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), where one or more of the parties to the action or proceedings fail to attend the pre-hearing conference, the Commissioner may, if he thinks fit, adjourn the pre-hearing conference.
Power of Commissioner to conduct hearing
25D.  The Commissioner may, after a claim for compensation has been made under section 11 —
(a)
conduct a hearing of the case and hand down a decision accordingly; and
(b)
make any order for the payment of compensation as he thinks just at or after the hearing.”.
Amendment of section 26
26.  The principal Act is amended by renumbering section 26 as subsection (1) of that section, and by inserting immediately thereafter the following subsection:
(2)  Where any medical board or panel has been established under this Act to assist the Commissioner to determine the extent of injury suffered by an employee in an accident, any determination by the medical board or panel as to the extent of the injury shall be treated as being conclusive by the Commissioner when assessing or determining the amount of compensation payable to the employee.”.
Amendment of section 27
27.  Section 27(1) of the principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after paragraph (b), the following paragraphs:
(ba)
where the person is mentally incapacitated — with the leave of the Commissioner, by any of his dependants or any committee or committees appointed under the Mental Disorders and Treatment Act (Cap. 178) to manage his property;
(bb)
where the person is dead — with the leave of the Commissioner, by any of his dependants or his estate, whether or not the estate has obtained a grant of representation;”.
Amendment of section 28
28.  Section 28 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by deleting the words “by the Commissioner under section 25” in subsection (1) and substituting the words “or deemed to be made under section 9(5A) or (7), 13 (7), 14A (3), 24, 25A, 25B, 25C or 25D”; and
(b)
by inserting, immediately after subsection (1), the following subsection:
(1A)  Where an order for compensation has been made under section 25B, 25C or 25D, the employer shall, within a period of 21 days after the order is made, pay the Commissioner or such other person as the Commissioner may direct, the amount of compensation so ordered.”.
New section 28A
29.  The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after section 28, the following section:
Payment of interest
28A.
—(1)  Where an employer fails to pay compensation in accordance with section 24(4) or 28 (1A), or where an employer fails to make a deposit with the Commissioner under section 29(3), the employer shall be liable to pay the Commissioner or such other person as the Commissioner may direct, interest on the amount unpaid at such prescribed rate subject to the following provisions:
(a)
the amount of interest on compensation unpaid shall not exceed 50% of the assessed amount of compensation; and
(b)
the Commissioner may, in his discretion, waive or remit the whole or any part of such interest.
(2)  Any interest under subsection (1) shall be payable —
(a)
to or for the benefit of the employee;
(b)
where the employee is dead, to or for the benefit of any one or more of the deceased employee’s dependants or to the estate of the deceased employee where a will has been produced, as the Commissioner deems fit, or where the deceased employee has no dependants, to the Workers’ Fund; or
(c)
where the employee is mentally incapacitated, to any one or more of the employee’s dependants for the benefit of the employee, or to any committee or committees appointed under the Mental Disorders and Treatment Act (Cap. 178) to manage the employee’s property, as the Commissioner deems fit.”.
Amendment of section 29
30.  Section 29 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)
by deleting the words “section 24(3)” in subsection (1) and substituting the words “section 24(3B)”;
(b)
by deleting the words “determined by the Commissioner under section 25” in subsection (3) and substituting the words “ordered by the Commissioner under section 25B, 25C or 25D”; and