Nova Scotia seeks feedback on improving workers’ compensation, preventing harassment
Health & Safety nova scotia wcb
Nova Scotia is seeking public feedback on ways to improve its workers’ compensation system and preventing workplace harassment.
“We know there is work to do to improve workers’ compensation. The system needs to be updated with today’s workplaces in mind to be the best it can be for Nova Scotians,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “We also want all workers to feel safe at work – not just physically but psychologically, too.”
The Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia provides workplace injury insurance to Nova Scotia employers and employees. The compensation system was last reviewed in 2002, and the province said it “lags behind other jurisdictions in areas such as workers’ access to coverage, employer assessment rates and benefits.”
The Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration is overseeing the review of the system, alongside an eight-member review committee that includes employer and employee representatives. Douglas Reid, chair of the review committee, has experience in management, regulatory compliance, financial services and corporate governance, and was a partner with KPMG Canada for nearly 30 years
The department is also consulting the public on harassment in the workplace. Information gathered will be used to help create rules so employers can prevent harassment and support healthier and safer workplaces, it said.
Nova Scotians can share their input on both the workers’ compensation system and harassment in the workplace at in-person and virtual sessions and through an online survey and written submissions. In-person sessions take place:
- Nov. 14, Sydney
- Nov. 15, New Glasgow
- Nov. 16, Amherst
- Nov. 20, Bridgewater
- Nov. 21, Yarmouth
- Nov. 22, Digby
- Nov. 23, New Minas
- Nov. 28, Truro
- Nov. 29, Halifax
- Nov. 30, Dartmouth.
Virtual sessions will be held November 17, 20 and 27, as well as December 1, 6 and 8. The surveys will open on November 14.
Interested parties can register at the consultation websites:
- workers’ compensation engagement: https://novascotia.ca/workers-compensation-engagement/
- preventing workplace harassment engagement: https://novascotia.ca/preventing-workplace-harassment-engagement/
- Since 2017, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick have all undertaken various reviews of their workers’ compensation systems.
- In 2022, 73 per cent of Nova Scotia’s workforce had workers’ compensation coverage, compared with other Atlantic provinces: New Brunswick (91 per cent), Prince Edward Island (98 per cent), and Newfoundland and Labrador (97 per cent).
- Nova Scotia is the only jurisdiction in the country without any legislation, regulation or policy to support harassment-free workplaces.
- It has been more than two decades since the 2002 Dorsey Report provided recommendations on how to improve the workers’ compensation system in Nova Scotia.