Canadian Policy Information

BC Provincial Government will introduce new measures to improve the "Workers' Compensation Law"


The BC government took action this summer to make the most significant improvements to the Workers Compensation Act (WCA) in more than two decades. The current epidemic has highlighted the need for modernization, strengthening of workplace hygiene and safety, and a more balanced labor compensation system. We passed the bill this summer based on several expert reports that combine the opinions of employers, employees, and workers’ compensation experts.

Imagine that you were seriously injured at work and then developed post-traumatic stress syndrome (post-traumatic sequelae for short). When you applied for WorkSafeBC compensation, you were rejected because the post-traumatic sequelae has been onset for more than a year. We amended the "Workers’ Compensation Law" because we are aware of the complexity of mental health compensation. For those who are invisible to others, if we can take the courage to take this step, we should provide them with a fairer Compensation system.

Suppose your family is injured and killed in the workshop and is now seeking justice for him. The new law gives WorkSafeBC more powers to investigate safety equipment in the workshop, including collecting evidence on the workshop. In addition, after the implementation of the new regulations, the court can accept the Victim Impact Statements, allowing injured workers and their families to express their opinions during the sentencing period in the workplace safety measures.

Or suppose you are a nurse, grocery store clerk or policeman who is in contact with the public every day, and you are infected with the new crown virus during work. You must hope to get workers compensation benefits as soon as you need it. Of course, this is also your protection. We have made various changes to enable employees who were infected during work to receive these benefits as soon as possible.

The above are just some examples, showing that we have made improvements and balances after careful consideration, not only to improve the protection of workers, but also to take into account the current challenges facing the business community, so that we can gradually recover from the rapid devastation caused by the epidemic .

We understand the economic pressure that employers are currently facing. For this reason, we choose to make mild changes to help injured workers and their families. The new law can give WorkSafeBC more powers to investigate workplace accidents, while maintaining low premiums.

Over the past years, provincial legislators of all political parties have heard injured workers and their families report to them that the system is not fair and does not pay attention to the needs of injured workers. In the past two decades, the former provincial government only cared about the rights and interests of employers, but ignored workers as the economic foundation. The amendment to strive for fair treatment for injured workers is actually very mild, but employers and opposition provincial legislators still raised objections. I am really disappointed.

I believe that as a responsible government, we should strike a balance between the rights of workers and employers, while at the same time protecting the health and safety of workers. We strive to make our factories in British Columbia the safest in the country. Making these amendments is an important step towards this goal.

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