The Low-Down on Construction – August 14
Within the WCB Act, there is a requirement for a Committee of Review to be established to assess the current operations of the WCB every four years. The last two Committee of Review reports have recommended that an Employer Resource Centre be established to assist employers in weaving their way through the complex maze of a WCB claim.
One of the largest concerns of employers – the funders of the WCB system – is that they have few resources to draw on when a claim arises. Although there may be some limited support available to employers within the current system, it is not well publicized and not effective in meeting the increasingly complex needs of employers, or especially smaller employers.
Employees, on the other hand, have significant resources, including a Employee Resource Centre that operates at arm’s length to the WCB and is dedicated to supporting employees in their WCB claims. It’s always assumed that employers have resources of their own to manage appeals and claims, but that’s simply not true when it comes to small employers. They feel every bit as vulnerable as employees.
Often times, in order to resolve their issue or concerns, employers are forced to seek third party help at significant additional cost. Considering that the employer is already funding 100% of the system, asking them to pay additional out-of-pocket costs during the claims process is clearly unfair and unreasonable.
Across Canada six provincial WCB systems have employer advocates or advisors: British Columbia, Ontario, and all four Atlantic provinces. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec do not provide employer advocates or advisors.
A resource centre for employers, paired with an improved customer-first culture will greatly improve performance and outcomes at WCB. It’s time that the needs of employers be recognized and addressed in a meaningful way.