Each province in Canada has created a provincial workplace
insurance fund that provides employees who have been injured in the
workplace with access to certain health care benefits and
reimbursement for lost earnings. The scheme is intended to relieve
the injured worker of the delay, cost and difficulty of suing an
employer in a tort action or in a civil action for negligence in
the workplace. Compensation is to be pro-vided expeditiously and
without proof of fault. In turn, employers are required to fund the
system through payroll assessments, but are shielded from the risk
of lawsuits and damages from employees injured on the job.
In practice, the Canadian schemes operate by having assessments
levied upon employers, which are then gathered into a common fund
from which benefits are paid to workers who are disabled as a
result of their employment. Administration and adjudication are
carried out by a statutory corporation, such as the Workplace
Safety Insurance Board in Ontario and the Commission de la
santé et de la sécurité du travail in
B -Determination of Employer Contributions
The legislation governing workers' compensation is
provincial in scope, so the particulars of each statute may vary
from province to province. However, the statutes generally apply
automatically and the coverage is compulsory for most
Where an industry is excluded from the compulsory coverage, it
may be possible to opt in. The employer may apply to the
appropriate board for the coverage of the business or undertaking.
If the application is accepted, which is the normal practice, the
business or undertaking of that employer will be covered.
Rates are usually established by examining the employer's
industry group and then adjustments are made based on claims
experience. Surcharges arising from actual claims can be
significant. The money is collected into an accident fund from
which benefits are paid. Employers are prohibited from seeking any
indemnity or contributions from workers for assessments or other
liabilities under the applicable legislation.
C - Benefits
Injured workers are entitled to income replacement if the injury
results in an inability to work. In addition, benefits will cover
health-care needs arising from the injury, such as prescription
drugs, assistive devices and therapy. Workers may also be entitled
to a lump-sum amount if the injury results in a permanent
Duty to Accommodate Rehabilitated Workers
The legislation generally requires an employer to re-employ a
worker injured on the job either to the pre-injury position or to
other suitable employment. This obligation is intended to reduce
the accident costs arising from workers' compensation claims as
well as to encourage reintegration of injured but rehabilitated
workers into the workplace. Where reintegration into the former
workplace is not feasible due to the nature of the injury, an
employee may also qualify for job retraining.
Working in Canada
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act governs the
admission of foreign nationals into Canada. No work permit is
required for business visitors who visit Canada to meet with
Canadian clients or to assess trade or business opportunities. Work
permits are required for foreign nationals who will be providing
their services in Canada. A number of programs exist to facilitate
work permits and entry to Canada.
In Canada, it is a criminal offence for an employer to take
disciplinary measures, or threaten or adversely affect the
employment of an employee, with the intent to stop an employee from
providing information to law officials regarding wrongful activity.
Anti-reprisal provisions that protect employees who report wrong
activity of their employers are also found in various provincial
employment standards legislation and human rights and workers'
health and safety legislation.
There are significant difference between employment laws in
Canada and other jurisdictions, including the United States. Before
commencing operations in Canada, prudent employers should consult
with a Canadian employment lawyer to avoid the missteps most
commonly made by foreign employers expanding their operations into
(Note: this is the final installment of a five part series
on Employment Law. View thefull article)
Mackrell International - Canada - MacDonald Sager
Manis LLP is a full service business law firm in Toronto, Ontario
and a member of Mackrell International. Mackrell International -
Canada is comprised of four independent law firms in Alberta,
British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Each firm is regionally based
and well-connected in our communities, an advantage shared with our
clients. With close relations amongst our Canadian member firms, we
are committed to working with clients who have legal needs in
multiple jurisdictions within Canada.
This article is intended to be an overview and is for
informational purposes only.
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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.
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