Every successful return to work starts with a great plan. New legislation came into effect in Alberta Sept. 1, 2018 meant that it’s even more important for employers and their workers to have a solid return-to-work plan in place when an injury happens.
Under this new legislation, offering an injured worker modified work is no longer an option for employers, it’s now their responsibility after a workplace accident.
Here’s what the legislation means for you as an employer:
- If your injured worker has been an employee with your company for 12+ months, you must bring the worker back to the same job or an alternative job after a workplace accident, unless it impacts your ability to run your business: this is known as undue hardship.
- You’re also required to continue making health benefit contributions for up to 12 months after the date of accident or illness. Your worker is entitled to the same benefits they had before the accident.
Ready to develop a modified work program for your company? https://wcb.ab.ca/return-to-work/return-to-work-planning/for-employers.html
Your workers also have responsibilities under the new legislation:
- They must contact you as soon as possible after the accident occurs and continue communication throughout your recovery.
- They need to take an active role in the return-to-work plan, helping you find suitable job duties for them to do while they recover.
- If they were paying into a benefit plan before the injury or illness, they will need to continue paying into the plan. They’re entitled to the same benefits they had before the accident.
This legislation applies to all claims with a date of accident on or after Sept. 1, 2018. For more detailed information on the legislative changes, please visit the 2018 Updates page of WCB’s website.
WCB offers a variety of webinars, workshops and seminars in Edmonton, Calgary and various locations throughout the province to help you take a look at your return-to-work programs and your costs. Find out more.
If you’re not sure how to go about implementing a return to work policy, check out the information on our webpage and call your CFIB Business Counsellor today!