Jan. 2, 2018
The government recently passed legislation bringing new enhancements to our workers’ compensation system that will come into effect throughout 2018.
Policy changes requiring consultation
Several policy changes allow the opportunity for consultation with our stakeholders, which will be taking place Jan. 2 − March 6. These include:
- Creation of a Code of Rights and Conduct that describes the rights of workers and employers in their interactions with us and how we commit to operate in recognition of these rights. Review the draft document and provide your feedback.
- Provision of interim relief for workers and employers while their matters are under appeal. Review the draft policy and provide your feedback.
- Establishment of employers’ obligation to return injured workers to work (and workers' responsibility to co−operate). Review the draft policy and provide your feedback.
- Amending the process for estimating earning capacity to ensure WCB has demonstrated every reasonable effort to help an injured worker’s job search. Review the draft policy and provide your feedback.
Policy changes effective Jan. 1, 2018, based on legislation
There are four enhancements effective Jan. 1 affecting workers and employers:
- A new lump-sum fatality benefit (up to $90,772.20) will be provided to the spouse or dependant(s) of a worker who dies as a result of a workplace injury or illness.
Enhanced retirement benefits will help compensate workers who were unable to contribute to a pension plan because of their reduced earnings capacity after their injury:
- A new lump-sum benefit will be provided to workers who received an economic loss payment (either temporary or long-term) for two or more consecutive years before regaining their earnings capacity.
- Normal retirement age has been extended to age 65 or five years following the date of accident, whichever is later.
- Calculation change for retirement adjustment benefits.
- Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) calculation is now based on 100 per cent of the change in the Alberta Consumer Price Index (i.e., the previous 0.5 per cent reduction has been removed).
- Policy will be updated to make it clearer that workers have the right to choose their own health care provider (providers will continue to be required to meet an established criteria).
These are the regular policy updates that happen on a yearly basis, effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Policies and Information Manual updated Jan. 2, 2018. Find the complete update here.