B.C. implements new requirements to support injured workers’ return to job
Legislation british columbia Return-to-Work
Injured workers in British Columbia will be better supported to return to their job, or other suitable employment, through new requirements under the Workers Compensation Act, according to the provincial government.
Effective Jan. 1, 2024, an employer and injured worker will be required to co-operate with each other and with WorkSafeBC to ensure the worker can return to their pre-injury job, a comparable job or, where the worker is not fit to do their pre-injury work duties, to other suitable work.
The duty-to-co-operate provisions will assist WorkSafeBC with overseeing the return-to-work process by laying out clear expectations, for both the employer and the worker, that they need to work together to get the injured worker back on the job in a safe and timely way, it said.
As well, employers must, to the point of undue hardship, make any changes to the work or workplace necessary to accommodate the worker. The new requirements support a more effective and fair workers’ compensation system in the province.
The changes also allow WorkSafeBC to impose administrative penalties on employers who fail to comply with their return-to-work obligations.
The new requirements were established in Bill 41, Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), 2022, which received royal assent on Nov. 24, 2022. An order-in-council was required to bring the amendments into force. The requirements apply to any business with 20 or more employees.
WorkSafeBC is developing policies to support the new return-to-work requirements and will be engaging in broad public consultation in July and August of this year.