On April 1, 2021 several parts of the UCP’s disastrous Bill 47 come into force, further weakening Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation system.
EDMONTON - Although the UCP originally passed this legislation back in the fall, they staggered the implementation of various sections of the Act. April 1st is the final phase. Some of the changes being implemented include no longer requiring an injured worker to be covered under their employer’s health and dental plans, as well as, no longer legally requiring employers to re-hire workers who have been injured.
“These changes make the lives of working Albertans who have been injured on the job harder,” said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “The UCP are allowing companies to cut workers off, putting profits ahead of helping their injured workers get back on their feet.”
Other changes include ending the Fair Practices Office, that provided free and unbiased assistance to injured workers struggling to navigate the WCB’s bureaucracy, and shortening the timelines for appeals from two years down to one year.
“The Kenney government has made it harder for workers to access and navigate the Workers' Compensation system, a clear attempt to reduce the number of successful claims from injured workers” said McGowan. “We deserve a WCB system that workers can understand and access when they need it.”
The WCB changes also include transitioning the services provided by the Medical Panels Office to the Appeals Commission and removing the benefit of the doubt for workers at the level of a medical panel review.
“These changes to the Workers Compensation system are humiliating in light of the changes the Kenney government has already made to the Occupational Health and Safety laws in Alberta and their horrible handling of COVID-19 as a workplace hazard. It is clear that Jason Kenney is not on the side of working Albertans”, concluded McGowan.
Director of Government Relations, AFL