The B.C. government is currently conducting a review on how to shift the workers’ compensation system. Words such as “worker-centric” are riddled throughout the review, which have set off our alarm bells.
Ensuring injured workers are well supported is no doubt an important purpose of the WCB. The current review will consider greater benefits to be paid to employees, and it will also look at other key themes such as return to work, claims processes and the accountability of the employer.
But there are lots of red flags. Firstly, there is no accountability on cost. The terms and references of the review do not require consideration of how costly it would be to introduce new policies or changes to the system.
To make matters more concerning, the reviewer of the process is a well-known retired labour lawyer, Janet Patterson. Naturally, we are concerned the perspective and needs of employers will not be well considered.
In 2018, the WCB was overfunded by $6.6 billion, with an asset to liability ratio of 153%. We consistently ask the board to issue you a refund when the system is overfunded. But instead of refunding you, the B.C. government has directed the review to consider ways to spend the surplus.
This is your money, and you should decide how it is spent. This is why it is crucial they receive a flood of emails from business owners like you.
We urge you to take a minute to have your say about making the system more worker-centered, and also how you feel about the overfunded money.
Feedback will be gathered between June 3 and July 19, 2019 through:
- Questionnaire submissions can be made online
- Email submissions to [email protected]
- Presentations at public hearings held between June 14 and July 19.
- Mail submissions to: WCB Review 2019
Attn: Donna Hanson, Review Coordinator
PO BOX 97122 Stn Main
Fax submissions to: 604 233-6795
As a reminder, we have collected over 5,000 alerts asking WorksafeBC to refund the money to the employers who pay into it. And we will continue to put the pressure on that a refund is the right thing to do.