Meredith principles

There are various ways of articulating the Meredith Principles.  However articulated, they rest on the Historic Compromise that gave both sides financial security which can be summed up as:

  • employers would be protected from lawsuits by injured workers and be able to calculate payments as a cost of doing business.
  • injured workers would receive prompt benefits for as long as the disability lasted in a non-adversarial system.

More specifically the Meredith Principles are:

No Fault
No need to prove the accident was the employer’s fault, no extra charge to the employer.

Non-adversarial
An inquiry system, based on benefit of the doubt that “seeks to compensate,” and cannot be challenged in court. No blame.

Compensation for as long as disability lasts
Worker can depend on security of benefits based on lost wages and promptly paid. The injured worker was not to become a financial burden on their family or the community.

Employer pays
Employer pays the rates because the costs can be passed on to others (in prices of goods and services, and in wage negotiations). Meredith noted that workers cannot pass the cost on and pay in other ways, including some level of lost income despite the compensation.

Collective liability
Employers pay into single accident fund and do not suffer financial consequences from the cost of a specific accident.

Independent Public Agency
Set up to be a non-partisan organisation to administer claims and assessments. Meredith indicated the system was to provide “full justice” not “half-measures,” to the injured worker. The early WCB had a motto: Justice and Humanity Speedily Rendered


Further reading:

click on document cover

Injured Workers History Project bulletin no. 9 (2 p.)

This nuisance of litigation

This Nuisance of Litigation / R.C.B. Risk

2011 Submission to WSIB Funding Review - 33p.

2011 Submission to WSIB Funding Review [33p.]