Women of Inspiration is a group of activists who come together and have built ties around their shared experiences of being survivors of workplace injuries and the Ontario Worker’s Compensation System. A fight that many of us in our group hold close to our hearts is the issue surrounding Universal Coverage for Workplace Injury.
Workers’ compensation was set up as an income and health benefits security for workers if they got injured or ill on the job. Workers gave up their rights to sue an employer when they got injured on the job and in turn, employers would pay into a collective pool of funds that would be administered during an injury. However, today about 29% of Ontario workers are not covered by workers’ compensation, administered through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). In fact, Ontario ranks lowest in Canada with regards to coverage by Workers’ Compensation. Many of those who are not covered by Workers’ Compensation are women who are working in precarious conditions with greater chances of being injured on the job or in industries not mandated to pay in to coverage, but which disproportionately hire women workers.
This letter to the Minister of Labour requests our elected representatives to consider and make changes to make the current injured workers’ compensation more inclusive. We ask that all workers in Ontario need to be provided with the security of knowing that in the chance of a workplace injury, they will receive compensation and health coverage.