FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has introduced changes to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal Act, the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Firefighters Compensation Act.

The amendments are intended to generate a more effective appeals tribunal, create an improved and more efficient board of directors, and change how the rate of return on pension funds is calculated.

“The purpose of these changes is to ensure that the governing legislation and WorkSafeNB policies appropriately address the needs and realities of current and future workplaces,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. “By making these changes, we will see a healthy balance between adequate compensation for injured workers, the fiscal interests of employers, and the long-term sustainability of the workers’ compensation system.”

These changes will:

  • address unintended consequences of amendments passed at the completion of Phase I of the Comprehensive Review of the New Brunswick Workers’ Compensation Legislation, including the omission of the appeal tribunal’s ability to hear reconsiderations;
  • enhance the governance structure of the board of directors to ensure that experience and knowledge is maintained and passed on to new board members; and
  • ensure WorkSafeNB has the authority to enter into agreements with other jurisdictions for the purposes of accepting and investing funds.

The legislation surrounding workers' compensation had not undergone a thorough review for more than 20 years.

In July 2015, the provincial government led a second phase of consultations by inviting stakeholders to submit comments and meet with the three panelists leading the consultations. Sessions were held in Fredericton, Edmundston, Bathurst, Moncton and Saint John.