Bill 41 receives royal assent in B.C., makes changes to Workers Compensation Act

The flag of British Columbia. Photo: Canva/HR Law Canada

On November 24, 2022, Bill 41, which introduces changes to the Workers Compensation Act, received Royal Assent.

Bill 41: Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), 2022 contains seven amendments, three of which are effective as of November 24.

Introduced on October 31, Bill 41 amends the Act to:

  • Change how workers’ compensation benefits are indexed for inflation each year by:
    • eliminating the automatic 1 percent reduction from the consumer price index (CPI);
    • directing WorkSafeBC to index based on full CPI; and
    • where full CPI is greater than 4 percent, provides WorkSafeBC the discretion to index based on a percentage greater than 4 percent up to full CPI. (Effective November 24, 2022.)
  • Allow WorkSafeBC to increase the maximum compensation for non-traumatic hearing loss. (Effective November 24, 2022.)
  • Expand WorkSafeBC’s ability to prohibit employers from suppressing workers’ compensation claims. (Effective November 24, 2022.)
  • Allow workers and employers to request a review by independent health professionals at the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal. (Effective April 3, 2023.)
  • Ensure WorkSafeBC pays interest on delayed benefit payments following a review or appeal where the benefits have remained unpaid for at least 180 days from the benefit start date. (Effective April 3, 2023.)
  • Create a fair practices commissioner position to be appointed by the Board of Directors. (Effective May 1, 2023.)
  • Add a legal duty for workers and employers to cooperate in the worker’s early and safe return to work, along with an obligation for employers to return injured workers to work. (This will come into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, at a date yet to be determined.)

For more information, please see the Ministry of Labour’s news release. We will provide further details on how WorkSafeBC will be implementing these changes as we move forward.