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3rd Session, 40th Legislature

This HTML version is provided for ease of use and is based on the bilingual version that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.

Bill 65

THE WORKERS COMPENSATION AMENDMENT ACT


  Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. W200 amended

1           The Workers Compensation Act is amended by this Act.

2           Subsection 1(1) is amended by adding the following definition:

"chief prevention officer" means the chief prevention officer appointed under section 17.1 of The Workplace Safety and Health Act; (« conseiller principal en prévention »)

3           Subsection 19(5) is amended by striking out "is subject to" and substituting" commits an offence and is subject to".

4           Section 19.1 is replaced with the following:

Discouraging worker from claiming compensation

19.1(1)     No employer or person acting on behalf of an employer shall take any action that prevents or discourages or attempts to prevent or discourage a worker from applying for compensation, pursuing an application that has been made or receiving compensation under this Part.

No discriminatory action

19.1(2)     No employer or person acting on behalf of an employer shall take or threaten to take discriminatory action against a person for

(a) reporting or attempting to report an alleged violation of subsection (1) to the board; or

(b) exercising any right or carrying out any duty in accordance with this Act or the regulations.

Onus on employer

19.1(3)     If, in a prosecution or other proceeding under this Act, it is established that discriminatory action was taken against a person after he or she

(a) reported or attempted to report an alleged violation of subsection (1); or

(b) exercised any right or carried out any duty in accordance with this Act or the regulations;

the employer is presumed to have taken the discriminatory action contrary to subsection (2). The employer may rebut the presumption by showing that the action taken was not related to the conduct described in clause (a) or (b).

Offence and administrative penalty

19.1(4)     A person who contravenes this section commits an offence and is subject to an administrative penalty under subsection 109.7(1).

Meaning of "discriminatory action"

19.1(5)     In this section, "discriminatory action" includes any act or omission by an employer or a person acting on behalf of an employer that adversely affects a worker's employment, including a transfer, demotion, layoff or termination.

5           The following is added after section 19.1:

Board may require notices

19.2        The board may require a person to post and keep posted in a conspicuous place on the person's premises any notices that the board considers necessary for the purposes of this Act.

6(1)        Subsection 51.1(1) is amended

(a) in clause (a), by striking out "and investment of the accident fund" and substituting ", investment of the accident fund and prevention of workplace injury and illness"; and

(b) by striking out "and" at the end of clause (b), adding "and" at the end of clause (c) and adding the following after clause (c):

(d) plan for the prevention of workplace injury and illness.

6(2)        Subsection 51.1(2) is amended by striking out "and" at the end of clause (b), adding "and" at the end of clause (c) and adding the following after clause (c):

(d) a prevention committee.

6(3)        The following is added after subsection 51.1(4):

Additional members of prevention committee

51.1(4.1)   For the prevention committee, the following additional persons are also members:

(a) the deputy minister of the department over which the minister presides, or the deputy minister's designate;

(b) the chief prevention officer;

(c) a member representative of employers who is appointed by the minister after consultation with organizations representing employers;

(d) a member representative of workers who is appointed by the minister after consultation with organizations representing workers.

6(4)        Subsection 51.1(5) is replaced with the following:

Remuneration for committee members

51.1(5)     The Board of Directors may fix the remuneration of a member of the audit committee, the investment committee or the prevention committee who is not a member of the Board of Directors.

6(5)        The following is added after subsection 51.1(8):

Functions of the prevention committee

51.1(9)     The prevention committee must

(a) develop policy for the prevention of workplace injury and illness, including incentive programs, for the consideration of the Board of Directors;

(b) develop operating and capital budgets for prevention activities;

(c) regularly review and advise the Board of Directors about prevention activities under section 54.1;

(d) ensure that the board has in place reasonable processes for coordinating its activities with those of the department and branch (as "department" and "branch" are defined in The Workplace Safety and Health Act) and the chief prevention officer; and

(e) review and evaluate strategic plans for prevention initiatives and make recommendations to the Board of Directors.

7(1)        Subsections 54.1(2) and (3) are replaced with the following:

Prevention activities

54.1(2)     In order to promote safety and health in workplaces and to prevent and reduce the occurrence of workplace injury and illness, the board must, in co-operation with the department and the branch,

(a) promote public awareness of workplace safety and health and injury and illness prevention;

(b) promote an understanding of and compliance with this Act and The Workplace Safety and Health Act;

(c) foster commitment to workplace safety and health and to injury and illness prevention among employers, workers and other persons;

(d) work with organizations engaged in workplace injury and illness prevention to promote workplace safety and health;

(e) provide training and education about preventing workplace injury and illness;

(f) develop standards for workplace safety and health and training programs, including certification processes for providers; and

(g) publish reports, studies or recommendations about workplace safety and health and injury and illness prevention.

Assistance to chief prevention officer

54.1(2.1)   The board must provide assistance to the chief prevention officer in connection with his or her responsibilities under The Workplace Safety and Health Act.

Expenditures

54.1(3)     The board must

(a) make expenditures from the accident fund that the board considers necessary to give effect to this section; and

(b) keep separate accounts of expenditures related to prevention activities.

7(2)        Subsection 54.1(4) is amended by striking out "department and branch" and substituting "department, branch and chief prevention officer".

8           Subsection 58(1) is amended by striking out "sit at least ten times in each year, and at such other times as may be necessary, and shall".

9           Subsection 60.8(1) is amended by adding the following after clause (b):

(b.1) appeals of administrative penalties under section 109.7;

10          Section 70 is amended by adding ", a report about prevention activities under section 54.1," after "under section 87".

11          Section 71.1 is amended by adding ", including prevention activities under section 54.1" after "the operations of the board".

12(1)       The section heading for subsection 80(5) is amended by striking out "and administrative penalty".

12(2)       Subsection 80(6) is amended by striking out "or" at the end of clause (a), adding "or" at the end of clause (b) and adding the following as clause (c):

(c) an employer fails to produce documents or books in response to a notice served under subsection 99(3);

13          Subsection 81(1) is amended by adding the following after clause (h):

(i) to provide a fund to meet the costs of the board's expenditures for prevention activities under section 54.1.

14          Subsection 82(6) is amended by striking out everything after "the board may" and substituting the following:

(a) reduce the amount of any contribution to the accident fund for which the employer is liable; or

(b) provide an incentive to the employer for prevention activities.

15          Subsection 86(1) is amended by striking out "or" at the end of clause (a), adding "or" at the end of clause (b) and adding the following as clause (c):

(c) an employer fails to produce documents or books in response to a notice served under subsection 99(3);

16          Subsection 99(2) is amended by striking out the part before clause (a) and clauses (a) to (c) and substituting the following:

Authority for examination and inquiry

99(2)       The board, and an officer or person authorized by it for that purpose, may examine the books, records and accounts of an employer, and may make any other inquiry that the board considers necessary, to

(a) verify the accuracy or completeness of a record or of other information provided to the board;

(b) determine the amount of an employer's payroll;

(c) determine whether an industry or person is covered by this Part;

(d) inspect the site of an accident or interview witnesses to an accident;

(e) inspect a workplace in connection with timely and safe return to work; or

(f) determine compliance with this Act;

17          Subsection 100(1) is amended by striking out ", or for the purpose of inspecting the site of an accident or interviewing witnesses to an accident".

18(1)       Subsection 109.6(1) is amended

(a) in clause (a), by striking out "$1,500." and substituting "$5,000"; and

(b) in clause (b), by striking out "$7,500" and substituting "50,000".

18(2)       Subsection 109.6(2) is amended

(a) in clause (a), by striking out "$1,500." and substituting "$5,000";

(b) in clause (b), by striking out "$7,500." and substituting "$50,000"; and

(c) in clauses (a) and (b), by striking out "three months" and substituting "six months".

19(1)       Subsection 109.7(1) is amended by adding the following after clause (l):

(m) subsection 101(1) (information not to be divulged);

19(2)       The following is added after subsection 109.7(1):

Notice of administrative penalty

109.7(1.1)  A notice of administrative penalty must be directed to the person referred to in subsection (1) and must set out

(a) the amount of the penalty determined in accordance with the regulations;

(b) when and how the penalty must be paid; and

(c) a statement that the person may appeal the matter to the appeal commission within 30 days after being served with the notice.

Serving the notice

109.7(1.2)  A notice of administrative penalty must be served on the person who is subject to the penalty. It may be served personally or may be delivered to the person's last known address by a delivery service that provides the sender with acknowledgment of receipt.

Appeal to the appeal commission

109.7(1.3)  Within 30 days after being served with a notice, the person required to pay the administrative penalty may appeal the matter to the appeal commission by sending a notice of appeal to the appeal commission, with a copy to the board, together with reasons for the appeal. The requirement to pay the penalty is stayed until the appeal commission decides the matter.

Notice of hearing

109.7(1.4)  On receiving a notice of appeal, the appeal commission must

(a) fix a date, time and place for hearing the appeal; and

(b) give the person appealing, and the board, written notice of the hearing at least five days before the hearing date.

Decision of appeal commission

109.7(1.5)  After hearing the appeal, the appeal commission must decide the matter and

(a) confirm or revoke the administrative penalty; or

(b) vary the amount of the penalty if the appeal commission considers that it was not established in accordance with the regulations.

19(3)       The following is added after subsection 109.7(4):

Public disclosure of administrative penalties

109.7(5)    The board may issue public reports disclosing details of administrative penalties imposed under this section, which may include personal information.

Coming into force

20          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends The Workers Compensation Act. The key changes are as follows.

Claims suppression

Under the current Act, it is an offence for an employer to attempt to prevent a worker from making a claim for compensation. An employer also commits an offence if he or she takes discriminatory action against a person for reporting such an attempt to the Workers Compensation Board. This Bill broadens those offences by

  • prohibiting an employer from taking discriminatory action against a person who exercises any right or carries out any duty under the Act; and
  • placing an onus on an employer who takes discriminatory action to prove that the action was unrelated to the worker making a claim or exercising a right or carrying out a duty under the Act.

Prevention of workplace injury and illness

A prevention committee of the board of directors of the Workers Compensation Board is established and its duties are set out. As well, the Workers Compensation Board must undertake activities respecting the prevention of workplace injury and illness, and is required to maintain separate accounts of the costs of those activities.

Inspection authority

The Workers Compensation Board is authorized to require documents to be produced, and to inspect workplaces, in connection with timely and safe return to work and to determine compliance with the Act generally.

Fines and administrative penalties

Maximum fines for offences under the Act are increased to $5,000 for workers and $50,000 for others.

The administrative penalty provisions are expanded to cover

  • an employer's failure to produce documents required by the Workers Compensation Board to determine compliance with the Act; and
  • the unauthorized disclosure of information by employees of the Board and others who provide services under the Act.

An appeal process for administrative penalties is also established.