Home Occupational Health & Safety New B.C. regulations set to enhance workers’ return-to-work process post-injury

New B.C. regulations set to enhance workers’ return-to-work process post-injury

by HR Law Canada

As of Jan. 1, 2024, British Columbia has implemented new regulations designed to facilitate the return of workers to their jobs following workplace injuries.

These regulations are part of an effort to enhance the efficiency and fairness of the province’s workers’ compensation system, aiming to reinstate employees to their former employment status after sustaining job-related injuries.

Under the new legal framework, both employers and injured workers in B.C. are mandated to actively collaborate with each other and with WorkSafeBC. This collaboration is essential to ensure the smooth reintegration of workers into their previous roles or into other suitable positions. The duty to cooperate encompasses maintaining open communication, identifying appropriate job tasks for the injured worker, and supplying WorkSafeBC with necessary information to aid the return-to-work process.

A significant aspect of the new rules is the obligation placed on employers with 20 or more employees, who have had an individual employed for at least a year prior to an injury. These employers are required to retain the employment of the injured worker, making any necessary adjustments to the job or workplace to accommodate them. However, this obligation is subject to the condition that such adjustments do not result in undue hardship for the employer.

WorkSafeBC is empowered under these requirements to oversee the return-to-work procedures by setting clear expectations. The organization holds the authority to decrease or withhold benefits from workers and impose penalties on employers who do not adhere to the new regulations.

These rules are part of the amendments made to the Workers’ Compensation Act, which were finalized in November 2022, marking a significant step in worker protection and rights in British Columbia.

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