WCB bonuses for getting injured workers back on the job criticize

CALGARY - Alberta is the only province where Workers Compensation Board staff get bonuses for swiftly getting injured workers off benefits and back to work - and must discontinue these "immoral" incentives, according to the Alberta Federation of Labour.

It was revealed last week that Alberta's WCB uses bonuses to reward staff who help return the injured to work.

The AFL said Alberta is alone in using such bonuses.

"The use of financial incentives to encourage WCB case managers to disallow claims or move injured workers back to work when they may not be ready for it is not only a built-in conflict of interest, we go so far to say it is an immoral abuse of the workers' compensation system," said Gil McGowan, president of the AFL.

Board spokeswoman Jennifer Dagsvik said Alberta's focus on helping injured workers get back to work is also meant to aid in a healthy recovery. The longer an injured worker is off the job the less likely they are to ever return to work, she said.

Canada.com, Sun July 25 2010

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