Review of New Brunswick’s workers’ compensation announced

New Brunswick Labour Minister announces today that the government is planning a comprehensive review of the workers’ compensation system to ensure injured workers are properly compensated and employers can afford the premiums. This follows weeks of public criticism by injured workers and labour leaders that too many workers are having their claim denied. As evidence, they point out that of the 800 cases heard each year by the independent appeals tribunal, 90 per cent are decided in favour of the injured worker. Family doctors and specialists have added their voice to the protests, frustrated at the Board ignoring their medical advices and denying claims for medical services.

Not the independent public inquiry many had called for, the review will be led by the Deputy Minister of Labour and WorkSafeNB President/CEO with legislative changes to be introduced in Spring 2014..

Further reading:

  • Burchell, Greg. Injured workers calling for public inquiry into WorkSafeNB (Canadian OH&S News, Mar. 25, 2013) [read here]
  • WorkSafeNB tribunal “scapegoated,” says appeals chair (CBC News Mar.8, 2013) [read here]
  • WorkSafeNB ‘mental health hazard,’ say injured workers (CBC News Mar. 7, 2013) [read here]
  • Doctor calls WorkSafeNB practices a ‘human rights’ issue (CBC News Feb. 26, 2013) [read here]

Manitoba’s Fair Compensation Review released on anniversary of Meredith report

Fair Compensation Review

click cover to read

An external review by B.C. expert Paul Petrie on the impact of the Manitoba WCB’s experience rating system on claim suppression identifies problems with claims reporting and aggressive return-to-work practices. “Manitoba’s current experience-rating system emphasizes claims cost control after an injury occurs,” said Petrie….

In response to this report and two other recent workplace reviews, the Minister of Family Services & Labour has announced the government will create a new Action Plan for Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention. While disappointed the report did not recommend abolishing the experience rating system, the Manitoba Federation of Labour supported its recommendations as a good first step towards restoring the integrity of Manitoba’s workers’ compensation system and ensuring a safer workplace.

Further reading:

  • Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Work life : an ounce of suppression prevents a pound of cure. Apr. 12, 2013 [read here]
  • Manitoba Federation of Labour. MFL Submission to External Review of WCB Rate Model (claims suppression).  Jan. 22, 2013 [read here]
  • ___. MFL An Investigation into the Incidence of WCB Claims Suppression. Jun. 24, 2010 [read here]