Insights

COVID-19 Outbreaks in the Workplace – Who’s Gonna Pay?

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on May 25, 2021

As Alberta grapples with the impact of the 3rd wave of COVID-19 infections, there have been a rash of outbreaks in workplaces involving a large number of COVID-19 infections. Transmission, quite clearly, is happening worker to worker and exposure is occurring while they are at work but is this a work-related injury or illness? And if so, how will this affect employers who are already struggling economically to survive the pandemic? If the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is going to accept claims that arise from COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace, who will bear the brunt of the costs? The WCB acknowledges that COVID-19 is not in itself caused by employment; however, if the work situation/circumstances put a worker at a greater risk of contracting the disease, then the claim would be acceptable. While this may seem reasonable, when put into practise the results are mind boggling.  Based on an […]

Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape – Bill 47

Posted in: WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on December 21, 2020

In March 2016, the Alberta Government initiated a review of the province’s workers’ compensation system, which included feedback, comments and input from key stakeholders and other interested parties. The results of the review were compiled and introduced to the Alberta legislature as Bill 30: An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans. Bill 30 was passed into legislation late December 2017 and the changes were implemented throughout 2018. Not surprisingly, there was some fallout based on the broader scope of the legislative changes that had some unexpected, unfair and often negative implications for employers and workers. In response, the Alberta government, again, invited input from the general public and stakeholders from July 9 to August 14, 2020 on key areas impacting Alberta’s workers’ compensation system. The Workers’ Compensation Legislative Review 2020: What We Heard summarizes the feedback gathered from eighty-one stakeholders. As a result of the information […]

Working from Home and WCB Coverage

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on November 30, 2020

Did you know that Workers’ Compensation coverage extends to employees that are working from home? As an employer, what are you doing to ensure your workers’ health and safety as well as protecting yourself from unwanted claims?  In March 2020 many employers were caught off guard by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown. Businesses scrambled to figure out how to remain operational, many making a quick shift to employees working remotely from home and other temporary arrangements.  Regardless of how fast organizations were forced to adapt, employers’ obligations to provide a safe and healthy work environment under occupational health and safety and workers compensation legislation remained unchanged. The speed with which the lockdown was implemented did not afford employers the opportunity to establish essential policies, procedures and agreements to ensure appropriate health & safety standards were in place.  Even though the lockdown ended, restrictions were eased and businesses reopened, the […]

10 Things to Check on Your 2020 WCB Premium Rate Statement

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Law,WCB Premium Reduction | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on December 10, 2019

In case you missed it, your 2020 WCB Premium Rate Statements have been issued. This statement not only advises you of the WCB Premium rate you have been assessed for the coming year but also provides you with the information used to calculate your rate. According to current information, WCB 2020 premium rates in British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan will remain the same or drop from the 2019 levels, while Alberta will see a slight increase. The rate-setting process is complex and even the smallest change in the data used can have a significant impact on the amount of premiums you pay. Therefore, it is important to consider the following questions while reviewing your statement: Is your Company name/address correct? Have your operations or business changed? Are you classified in the most appropriate Industry? Has your Industry Code changed? Are you being assessed a surcharge? For Alberta employers, are you […]

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: […]

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