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“Restoring the Balance: A Worker-Centered Approach to Workers Compensation Policy”

This letter is endorsed by 26 sectoral and cross-sectoral business organizations which collectively represent small, medium and large businesses in virtually all aspects of the British Columbia economy. Balanced WorkSafeBC policies and practices support healthy, safe and productive workplaces. We urge the Minister of Labour and WorkSafeBC to carefully consider the comments which follow on Restoring the Balance: A Worker-Centred Approach to Workers' Compensation Policy authored by Paul Petrie.

On March 31, 2018, Paul Petrie ("Petrie") presented his Report to the Board of Directors of WorkSafeBC (WSBC).

We are willing and available to provide our assistance and input to WorkSafeBC as it proceeds through its established consultation process with the stakeholders regarding the implementation and/or revision of policies in any areas raised by Mr. Petrie.We are supportive of Petrie's overall vocational rehabilitation objective of restoring an injured worker to suitable employment with his/her injury employer as close as possible to the worker's pre-injury earnings.

We are also supportive of Petrie's focus on seeking to resolve medical disputes on a timely basis early in the claims adjudication process. However, employers have raised numerous questions and concerns regarding the meaning, practicality, effectiveness and/or implementation of several of the recommendations raised by Mr. Petrie in his Report.

At the outset, we have one general overriding consideration - the pace of change. We are very concerned regarding the overall number of significant policy changes to the existing workers compensation system which are envisioned by Petrie's recommendations and which we anticipate will arise from the upcoming contemplated review of the Workers Compensation Act (the "Act") itself.

We are of the view that WorkSafeBC must ensure that sufficient time is taken to fully consider the implications of any of Petrie's recommendations for policy change prior to effecting the implementation of such change. There are three recommendations raised by Mr. Petrie in his Report which do provide us with significant cause for concern. 

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For further information please contact:

Andrew Wynn-Williams
Divisional Vice President, BC
Phone: 778-828-8207

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