Workers Compensation Reforms Desperately Needed and Long Overdue

 

After decades of chronic problems, it is clear Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation system has lost its way and forgotten its purpose. The release of the final report and recommendations of the Alberta Workers Compensation Board Review Panel presents a real opportunity to improve the WCB system so that injured workers can get the help they deserve.

“Under successive PC governments, the WCB has lost its way, focusing more on keeping premiums down for employers than actually providing help and support to injured workers” said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “With the current model, workers worry that if they’re injured on the job, they’ll be hung out to dry. We are thankful that the Notley Government has engaged in this process and we look forward to reviewing the recommendations.”

Historically constituted as a compromise between companies, workers, and the government, the WCB was set up to support injured workers and limit liability for employers, with oversight from the Government of Alberta. However, after generations of PC governments’ failed management, the WCB has forgotten these first principles. The system is broken and underfunded, with evidence of employers engaging in claims suppression. Reforms are desperately needed and long overdue.

The Alberta Federation of Labour will be taking the time necessary to read and understand the report, and then work with government to implement its recommendations and help fill any gaps.

“It’s important to all workers that we get these changes right,” said McGowan. “Albertans deserve the peace of mind that if they’re injured at work, they will have the support they need.”

The report can be found online at https://www.alberta.ca/wcb-review.aspx 

 

For further information, please contact:

Janelle Morin, Director of Communications

780-278-3640 or jmorin@afl.org


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