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WCB Policy Reviews – Why Alberta Employers Need to Get Involved

Posted in: WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on May 28, 2019

The Alberta Workers’ Compensation Act has been around for more than 100 years and although it is the Act that defines the auspices of the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), it is the policies and procedures that have been developed over the years that are integral to the implementation of the Act. Needless to say, times have changed since 1918 and as a result, it has been necessary to modify WCB policies to make them current and relevant in today’s world.

To that end, the WCB periodically reviews their policies to ensure they are meeting the needs of today’s workers and employers. Due to a large number of WCB policies, the review process is cyclical where only a select number of policies are reviewed each year.

What is being reviewed?

In 2019, the Alberta WCB will be looking at policies involving employer accounts and premiums including topics in the following areas:

  • Employer Coverage
  • Personal Coverage
  • Premium Payments
  • Assessable Earnings
  • Industry Classifications

During 2020, the WCB will continue to review policies that impact employers such as:

As part of the review process, the WCB invites feedback and input from concerned stakeholders and uses the information to draft revisions. The proposed revisions are then posted on the WCB website for further consultation prior to the changes being formalized. This provides an opportunity for stakeholders to get a look at the new policy and add additional comments before finalizing any changes.

Who is a stakeholder?

A stakeholder could be a worker, a worker representative, an employer, an employer representative, a health care practitioner, a labour union, a labour association, a paid advocate, an elected official and any other member of the public that has a vested interest in the outcome of the policy review.

The stakeholders most invested in the outcome of the 2019 and 2020 WCB Policy reviews are Alberta employers and employer representatives and as such, they need to make sure their concerns and issues are known.

There is no guarantee that any individual employers’ concerns will be addressed specifically, so why bother commenting if it won’t change anything?

Why get involved?

No system is perfect and nor can it continue to be relevant without periodic analysis and assessment of its value in current terms. Although internal review and self-analysis can help identify areas that need addressing and updating, it is often the external voices of stakeholders that provide the most relevant data when it comes to the impact of WCB policies.

This is why, when the opportunity presents itself, it is important for Alberta employers, and employer representatives, to speak up and make sure their voice is heard. An individual comment may not grab the WCB’s attention but if a number of stakeholders voice the same concerns about the same policy, it increases the probability the issue will be addressed during the review and positive changes suggested.

How to get involved

The Policy Feedback Form will be available for comments, ideas and suggestions until July 15, 2019, so take the time to find out what is being looked at, how it may affect you and make sure your voice is heard!

If you would like further details about how the WCB Policy reviews may affect you or your organization, you can contact us directly at BCL.Calgary@bclconsulting.ca, BCL.Edmonton@bclconsulting.ca, by phone at 1-844-377-9545 or you can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.  

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