FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government today introduced legislative amendments that address the remaining legislative recommendations from the Report of the Task Force on WorkSafeNB. The proposed amendments fall within the areas of occupational health, benefits and governance.

“These amendments address the remaining task force recommendations requiring government action as well as recommendations made by the auditor general,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “Our government has taken swift action to ensure that the workers’ compensation system in our province is there for injured workers who need it while providing stability for employers.”

Amendments will be made to the following legislation:

  • the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal Act;
  • the Workers’ Compensation Act;
  • the Firefighters’ Compensation Act;
  • the Blind Workers’ Compensation Act;
  • the Silicosis Compensation Act; and
  • the Training and Designated Trades Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Following is a summary of the amendments introduced:

  • Requiring WorkSafeNB to send copies of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations to employers, as well as publishing all convictions under health and safety legislation.
  • Allowing for greater flexibility in training delivery (including online options), duration of the training and allowing for external organizations and in-house trainers to deliver the training.
  • Allowing for fair and reasonable income replacement and apportionment of other revenue sources by clarifying that Canada Pension Plan Disability payments need to be taken into account when determining the amount of compensation payable by WorkSafeNB.
  • Improving governance by enhancing the board appointment process.
  • Providing a review of workers’ compensation legislation and corresponding regulations every five years and regular value-for-money audits to be completed by the auditor general every five years.

“On behalf of the board, and WorkSafeNB, I am pleased to see this bill addressing the remaining task force recommendations, “said Haley Flaro, acting chairperson of WorkSafeNB. “Since the recommendations were first made, WorkSafeNB has been supportive of their implementation. WorkSafeNB is committed to being the best it can be for New Brunswick’s workforce. And we are part of that workforce – we work here, our families work here, our friends work here. We realize the benefit of healthy and safe workplaces and an efficient and effective compensation system to our province’s growth and economy.”

“Implementing the task force recommendations is just the beginning of the work required to transform New Brunswick’s workers’ compensation system,” she said. “We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, in helping keep New Brunswick a great place to work and live.”

In December 2018, the Act Respecting Addressing Recommendations in the Report of the Task Force on WorkSafeNB implemented a number of legislative amendments and addressed the recommendations concerning the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal, benefits, and the three-day waiting period.

The Report of the Task Force on WorkSafeNB included 28 recommendations.