The Act Respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational
Diseases, CQLR, c. A-3.001 (the "Act") has many
provisions that allow it to be flexibly and effectively applied to
various generations of workers.
For example, in an economic environment where more and more
young employees or recent retirees are self-employed, as
freelancers or consultants, questions frequently arise concerning
the true status of independent workers. This status is precisely
determined by the Act.
The Act also contains provisions regarding volunteer workers,
now that more and more individuals are acting in that capacity on
behalf of those in need.
Entitlement to indemnities for income-replacement and
rehabilitation are also covered by specific provisions in cases
where an employment injury results in permanent functional
limitations that prevent a worker from performing his work. More
specifically, a worker having such limitations who is 60 years of
age or older at the time of the work-related accident will
automatically be considered totally disabled and will receive
indemnity benefits until age 68. Where the functional limitations
are instead due to an occupational illness, the age threshold drops
In a different vein, the majority of studies conclude that
younger employees more often sustain occupational injuries, in
proportion to their numbers in the workforce. Among the factors
explaining this finding is the fact that younger workers have a
greater propensity to engage in negligent or dangerous conduct. In
such cases, section 27 of the Act may apply: generally, an
occupational injury resulting from such conduct does not give rise
to any indemnification whatsoever.
Finally, the assessment rules are influenced, in certain cases,
by the age of the worker who suffered a work-related injury. For
example, the sharing of costs pursuant to section 329 of the Act
(pre-existing handicap), which is based on a deviation from the
bio-medical standard, may be more difficult to obtain where the
victim is older. For example, moderate lumbar disc degeneration
will be considered abnormal in a 25-year old worker, but perfectly
normal in a 50-year old. Cases of intercurrent illnesses giving
rise to the partial or total reversal of an assessment for costs
are also generally more frequent in the case of older workers.
Finally, section 56 of the Act provides for a reduction in the
amount of income-replacement indemnities to which a worker is
entitled as of age 65, until the entitlement is completely
extinguished at age 68. This age-based discrimination has been
deemed acceptable by the courts.
With respect to these and other such matters, Langlois can
assist you in reviewing the relevant provisions of the Act and
provide you with some practical tips for managing your occupational
injury files in light of the age of the worker involved.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).