Clinic’s submission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy welcomes the assistance the presumptive amendment provides to first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but urges the government to also address more broadly the under-compensation of work-related mental health disabilities. Recommendations include removing restrictions that allow entitlement for traumatic but not chronic stress; expanding the list of occupations covered by the new presumption; and improving access to mental health services for the treatment needed and the diagnosis required for a claim to be allowed.
Letter to the Premier expresses the importance of choosing a fair minded Chair of the Workplace Safety and Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT), in an open process. The Tribunal was set up by Prof. Paul Weiler and it’s important to bear in mind the quality of person he recommended for heading what is the last bastion of justice and hope for injured workers.
Following up on the overwhelming response to the report “Prescription Over-ruled”, health professionals, workers, legal advocates and labour groups call for a full investigation by the Ontario Ombuds Office of the WSIB for systematic disregard of the medical advice provided by doctors treating injured workers, in favour of so-called “paper doctors” who have not met patients directly.
A forthright message to the Minister of Labour on just why injured workers are so angry, and feel so betrayed by government promises that the unfunded liability would not be solved on the backs of injured workers.
In their submission to Supreme Court case addressing issues of causation and Workers Compensation Appeals Tribunal jurisdiction, IAVGO and ONIWG argue that scientific certainty is not required (and in fact definitive scientific evidence on work-related causation rarely exists). Decisions must be made not by scientists, but by expert legal tribunals applying legal principles; they should be based on the best available evidence and the balance of probabilities standard established under workers’ compensation legislation, which states that in cases where the weight of disputed evidence is evenly balanced it should be decided in favour of the worker.
Letter to the Prime Minister asks the federal government to address a gap in the Canada Pension Plan by requiring workers’ compensation boards to make CPP contributions on behalf of those unable to because of workplace injury. As it currently stands, many injured workers receive a much reduced pension on turning 65. This particularly impacts women injured workers, their financial independence and empowerment.
Letter asks the Premier to include injured workers in the selection process for a new President of the WSIB, and proposes the ideal qualities that would make a candidate a “good fit”.
Many of the injured workers IWC assists are women, immigrants, and work in non-union or precarious employment situations. The Clinic supports the bill’s proposed amendment to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (s.22) which would target direct and indirect claims suppression but suggests it does not adequately address the range of indirect inducements by employers used to discourage vulnerable workers from filing claims. Submission recommends instead that the only way to properly address claims suppression is to get rid of its source – to eliminate experience rating.
Ignoring the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Occupational Health & Safety and the Arthurs Report, the Proposed Rate Framework would make claims experience the main driver of premium rates for all Schedule I employers. Inconsistent with the Act, the framework proposes to use experience rating for insurance equity purposes. The ERWG recommends abandoning the “risk adjusted premium rate” aspect of the rate framework, or using actual health and safety leading indicators rather than claims costs as the metric of risk. Additionally the Submission proposes an Excellence Fund as a merit system or incentive program to allow the Board and employers to go forward with prevention and accommodation promoting timely and safe return to work (RTW).
Bright Lights believes that the proposed rate framework is still an experience rating system, and does nothing to address the concerns outlined in ONIWG’s submission. Includes a collection of stories about how experience rating has affected some of the group’s members, and impact of the new scheme.