The government of British Columbia is reviewing how the province’s workers compensation system and it is looking for feedback for members of the public. The review is aiming to shift the systems to become more worker centred, the government said, and increase worker and employer confidence.
There will be public hearings in 14 communities around the province, and anyone wishing to present their views in person must book a time slot in advance. Half the times will be reserved for injured workers to ensure their views are heard about what an improved workers’ compensation system should look like.
“The independent reviewer would like to hear from people from all over B.C., including injured workers and their families, employers, medical practitioners, Indigenous people and First Nations, unions, employer associations, representatives of workers and employers, the legal community and members of the public,” the government said on its website.
All feedback received throughout this engagement process will be reviewed and will inform the reviewer’s report to government which is due by Sept. 30.
In April, Minister of Labour Harry Bains announced the appointment of a retired labour lawyer, Janet Patterson, to undertake the independent review, to assess the following: the system’s policies and practices that support injured workers’ return to work; WorkSafeBC’s current policies and practices through a gender and diversity-based analysis (commonly referred to as GBA +); modernizing WorkSafeBC’s culture to reflect a worker-centric service delivery model; the case management of injured workers; and potential amendments to the Workers Compensation Act arising from this focused review.
The formal review being undertaken by Patterson builds on work undertaken by WorkSafeBC over the past year to identify areas for improvement.
The public and interested stakeholders are invited to share their views until July 19. Individuals can also submit written feedback by email or by filling in a questionnaire online. Details of the engagement process can be found here.
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