On July 14, 2020, the Minister of Labour tabled Bill 23, Workers' Compensation Amendment Act, 2020 which proposed a number of significant changes to the Workers Compensation Act, RSBC 2019, c. 1 (the "Act"). The Act itself was already revised significantly earlier this year in an organizational revision which primarily reorganized the provisions and made minor alterations to wording.
Bill 23 has been introduced following three reviews completed in 2018 and 2019 by Lisa Jean Helps, Paul Petrie, and Terry Bogyo, and following a consultation by, Jeff Parr. These reports are available here.
Bill 23 is currently in its second reading before the Legislature. The full text of the bill is available at: https://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/bills/billscurrent/5th41st:gov23-1
The Provincial Government's stated purpose of the amendments is to "better support injured workers and their families, while keeping the system affordable and stable over the long term for employers". The Provincial Government has issued a backgrounder which summarises these changes at a high level. However, these changes will significantly affect employers should they eventually come into force.
At Roper Greyell, we are closely monitoring the response to these proposed changes and their expected impact on employers in B.C.
The proposed amendments to the Act and their effect on employers will be addressed in detail during the upcoming RG Workplace Law Education series workshop, An Employer's Guide to WorkSafeBC. The October 8, 2020, workshop will be conducted by webinar and will be led by Alissa Demerse and Julia Bell. Registration for this workshop will be opening in August.
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.