Workers’ Compensation System & Harassment in the Workplace Consultations
The Department of Labour, Skills, and Immigration (LSI) will be holding consultations across Nova Scotia to discuss both the Workers’ Compensation System here in Nova Scotia and Harassment in the Workplace.
The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of Nova Scotia has been providing support for workers and employers when it comes to workplace injuries since 1917. While the work in supporting injury prevention and return to work has continued since the inception of the WCB, the system has not been reviewed for over 20 years.
To move this work forward, LSI has established a Review Committee to validate the issues that NSGEU and this government has been hearing from our members and Nova Scotians over the years. Once the review is completed, the committee will bring forward recommendations to the Department on the workers’ compensation system and issues needing attention in Nova Scotia.
This Review Committee includes representatives from a variety of sectors with an independent chair, including NSGEU’s own Occupational Health and Safety Officer, Dustin Rioux. The committee balances employer and employee perspectives on the workers compensation system and to ensure the interests of large and small organizations are considered. This important work has begun, and the committee will continue to validate what they hear as this review progresses over the next year.
Additionally, Government is starting to develop guidance for workplaces to help prevent and respond to harassment in the workplace. The Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations consider physical injuries in the workplace, but they do not consider psychological injuries like harassment in the workplace. Nova Scotians and businesses have told Government we need a better approach to workers’ compensation insurance, including better support for psychological injuries.
As it is important to hear from our members and Nova Scotians, consultations are planned to ensure a range of perspectives are considered. These consultations are scheduled to begin in November. If you’re interested in registering, visit Workers’ compensation: engagement and Preventing workplace harassment: engagement. Consultations will include ten in-person sessions for the general public across the province.
The consultations on the Workers’ Compensation System will be conducted concurrently with discussions on Harassment in the Workplace. There will be many ways for you to participate, including attending in person or virtual consultations, sending in written submissions, and through an online survey.
We urge you to come and have your voice in changing the WCB system for the better. Our members have identified that improvements are needed in the system. This includes better benefits for injured workers, ensuring that you’re not disadvantaged when on disability benefits (ie. losing service and seniority while on injury leave). We also know our members in different sectors are not covered under the presumptive injury definition, like Social Workers. This would be the time for government to hear your voice on this.
For any further questions regarding the Worker’s Compensation System review, the LSI staff contact is Karen McMahon, Executive Director, Safety Branch, and she can be reached via email at Karen.McMahon@novascotia.ca .
For any further questions regarding Harassment in the Workplace, the LSI contact is Fred Jeffers, Executive Director, Safety Branch, and he can be reached via email at Fred.Jeffers@novascotia.ca.
If you have further questions or concerns about the either the Workers’ Compensation System review or the Harassment in the Workplace consultations that cannot be answered by contacting the people listed above, please reach out to the union: 902-424-4063 (toll-free 1-877-556-7438) or email@example.com.
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