New rules to ensure workers can return to a job following a workplace injury come into effect Jan. 1, 2024.
The requirements will support a more effective and fair workers’ compensation system in the province and help restore workers to their previous employment status after suffering an injury on the job.
All employers and injured workers in B.C. will have a new legal duty to co-operate with each other and with WorkSafeBC to ensure workers can return to their previous jobs or other suitable work. The duty to co-operate requires employers and workers maintain communication, identify suitable work for the worker and provide WorkSafeBC with required information to support return-to-work efforts.
Any employer with 20 or more workers who has employed someone for at least one year before an injury will have an obligation to maintain that worker’s employment. They must make any necessary changes to the work or workplace to accommodate the injured person, unless the changes create an undue hardship.
The requirements will help WorkSafeBC oversee the return-to-work process by laying out clear expectations. WorkSafeBC has the authority to reduce or suspend benefits of workers and apply penalties to employers who fail to comply.
The rules are part of changes made to the Workers’ Compensation Act, which were finalized in November 2022.
To read the news release for the original announcement on Oct. 31, 2022, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/27697
To read the information bulletin for the order in council on June 9, 2023, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/28943
To learn about return-to-work information for workers, visit: https://worksafebc.com/en/claims/recovery-work/workers-return-to-work-information
To learn about return-to-work information for employers, visit: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/claims/recovery-work/employers-return-to-work-information