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Worried About WCB claims? Here’s What Every Employer Should Know

Posted in: Worker's Compensation Board,workplace wellness | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on December 11, 2018

Alberta is facing hard times. The Alberta Government has just announced cuts to oil patch production starting in the New Year and there are talks of an economic and financial crisis facing the province as a whole. The fallout of this development will not only be realized potentially through layoffs and downsizing within the oil and gas sector, but the ripple effect may be felt throughout the rest of the economy as well. There has been a longstanding correlation between a downturn in the economy and the rise in Workers’ Compensation (WCB) claims. Now is the time for Alberta employers to take action and reduce their risk of fraudulent and opportunistic claims. Not only to prevent WCB claims but also to reduce the overall risks your workers might face. Here are 3 preventative measures employers can take to try to minimize claims: 1) Be hypervigilant about safety in the workplace, […]

Managing Claims Costs

Posted in: Claims Costs | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on November 20, 2018

With all the recent legislative changes in Alberta, both federally and provincially, involving workers’ compensation, occupational health and safety, cannabis, and more, it is no wonder employers find it challenging to adapt and adjust to new standards while continuing to be operational. Economic, environmental, legal, and legislative developments define our everyday working world. Navigating this ever-changing landscape can be overwhelming. Identifying and addressing the areas that you have control over can be far more productive than worrying about the things you don’t as an employer. For most employers, work-related injuries and illnesses are a harsh reality of doing business and not just from a productivity perspective. From a financial perspective as well. Disruption of operations is not the only ramification of an on-the-job accident or incident. The cost of every Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) claim can negatively affect a company’s WCB premium rate. Workers’ compensation premiums are an unavoidable operational […]

Canada has Legalized Cannabis with Bill C45—Here’s What it Means for Employers.

Posted in: WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on October 17, 2018

In a historic vote on June 19th, 2018, the Canadian Parliament changed Canadian law to lift the 95-year-old prohibition on recreational cannabis. Whether you agree with the legalization of marijuana or not, the reality cannot be ignored, nor can the influence this may have on the workplace. What Governments Are Doing: The Cannabis Act requires all Canadian provinces and territories to develop their own regulatory system to support the pending legislation. Earlier this year the Alberta Cannabis Framework was unveiled by the provincial government, setting the stage for the legal and responsible use of marijuana by Albertans. The draft addressed issues such as the minimum age limit, buying, selling, growing, possessing, consuming and advertising of cannabis, as well as driving impairment and workplace impairment, which continues to be a work in progress. In Alberta, the government says it will review occupational health and safety regulations before July 2018; engaging with […]

Maximum Insurable Earnings, Cost Relief and the New WCB Alberta Legislation

Posted in: WCB Law,Worker's Compensation Board | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on October 16, 2018

Another change to the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Act involved maximum insurable earnings (MIE). Up until September 1, 2018, MIE was a figure, set by the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) which served two purposes; 1) It was used to establish a weekly compensation rate maximum; based on a capped pre-accident gross insurable earnings sum.  In turn, workers would only be compensated for earnings up to the capped pre-accident gross earnings amount, 2) It was also used as the reportable gross earnings per worker figure or the maximum assessable earnings (MAE) employers were required to report to the WCB for rate setting purposes. As of September 1, 2018, the MIE has been broken down into two distinct categories: Compensable Earnings and Assessable Earnings. Compensable earnings will be the amount used to calculate an injured workers wage loss benefits and will have no limit. As a result of the legislative changes, the cap […]

Obligation to Reinstate – Duty to Accommodate

Posted in: WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on September 17, 2018

Following the 2016 review of the Alberta Workers’ Compensation system, the resulting legislative and policy changes to the WCB Alberta went into effect during 2018, with the final changes being implemented on September 1st, 2018. Even though much of the new legislation will be implemented without much consequence, there are aspects that may have a substantial impact on employers— not only financially but operationally. In previous posts, the changes to health benefits and the proposed policy to changes to employers’ obligations to reinstate and duty to accommodate were explored.  Now that the policy changes have been implemented, here is how they may affect Alberta employers: Modified Duties: No Longer an Option, Now an Obligation Although not part of WCB’s jurisdiction, a fundamental component of the Return to Work services provided by the WCB has been to have employers and injured workers work together to facilitate a return to meaningful employment […]

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