Safety & Risk Management
B.C. amending its Workers Compensation Act to bring province in line with rest of Canada
November 1, 2022 By Don Horne
Amendments to the Workers Compensation Act look to better support workers in British Columbia, bringing B.C. in line with other provinces in providing benefits for workers injured on the job.
“People injured on the job need to know that there is a workers’ compensation system that meets their needs,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “With these changes, we’re making sure that workers are properly supported when they need it most.”
The changes build on improvements to the system this government has been making since 2018. The new amendments make several important changes, including ensuring employers accommodate and re-employ injured workers when they are ready to return and requiring WorkSafeBC to pay interest on delayed benefit payments due to a review or review decision.
In April 2019, the Ministry of Labour launched a review of the workers’ compensation system, led by Janet Patterson. Her report, released in August 2020, provided recommendations for system-wide and structural changes to achieve a more effective system for workers.
“Injured workers need somewhere to turn if the Workers’ Compensation Board doesn’t treat them fairly,” said Owen Goodwin, an injured worker. “Making sure there’s a fair practices commissioner for workers, a re-employment obligation and protecting our compensation from being eroded by inflation are good steps in the right direction with an important focus on injured workers.”
As well, in August 2020, government made important amendments to the Workers Compensation Act that better support injured workers and their families and enhance WorkSafeBC’s ability to investigate workplace incidents that result in a worker fatality or serious injury.
Since 2018, WorkSafeBC has also taken an active role to better support workers and treat them with fairness and respect.
Once the legislation passes, WorkSafeBC and the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal will develop the necessary policy and program updates to fully implement the changes.
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