The British Columbia government is committed to shifting the existing workers’ compensation system to better support injured workers and to increase the confidence of workers and employers in the system.
An independent review has been underway to advise government on how to shift the workers’ compensation system to become more worker-centered. The review is being led by retired labour lawyer Janet Patterson, who was appointed in April 2019. The public consultation part of the review closed on July 19. A summary of the public’s participation during the engagement period will soon be available.
The review is assessing:
- 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 +);
- modernization of WorkSafeBC’s culture to reflect a worker-centric service delivery model;
- the case management of injured workers; and
- any potential amendments to the Workers Compensation Act arising from this focused review.
Read the Terms of Reference for this review.
Ms. Patterson’s assessment will also be informed by two recent reports:
- The report, Balance. Stability. Improvement. Options for the Accident Fundprepared by Mr. Terrance J. Bogyo can be accessed here.
- The report, Restoring the Balance: A Worker-Centred Approach to Workers’ Compensation Policyby Mr. Paul Petrie can be accessed here.
Through the public consultation, British Columbians were invited to share their views on what an improved workers’ compensation system should look like. The independent reviewer heard 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.
Citizens were able to provide feedback by attending one of the in-person hearings in locations around the province. There were also additional ways to provide feedback including a questionnaire.
All feedback received throughout this engagement is now being reviewed and will inform Ms. Patterson’s report to government which is due by October 31, 2019.