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ISSUE 2012-03  July 9, 2012

In This Issue

Bill 14 – Workers Compensation Amendment Act 2011

WorkSafeBC Consultation Registration Requirements on Property Management Firms and Building Owners


WorkSafeBC Consultation on New Policy – Employer’s Obligations Towards Other Workers – Section 115(1)(a)(ii)


Determination of Retirement Date


OH&S Service Providers Online


Quick Links

Click the image below to access the complete interactive document.



If you have questions about the issues raised in this newsletter, or any health, safety or wellness issue, please contact Sue Ferguson at 604.730.4502 or

Bill 14 – Workers’ Compensation
Amendment Act, 2011

WorkSafeBC is going to centralize mental disorders claims to a special unit based in Richmond. The team will have six claims managers, two nurse advisors, two psychologists and other necessary support. There will be nine vocational rehabilitation consultants throughout the province to assist with returning to work.

They expect the volume of claims to be 1800 to 2000 per year. The team will be using a multi-disciplinary case management team approach to start. The first year will also be spent developing practice guidelines for future case management.

Claims will initially go to the teleclaim process but only the regular questions will be asked. If the claim is a mental disorders claim, the more detailed questions will come from one of the designated claims managers.

Education is the fifth highest sector or industry in registering psychological-only claims.

Ongoing Policy Changes Expected

BCPSEA responded to the first policy related to the changes needed to enact the claims process that will start on July 1, 2012. There was a two-week response time.

By resolution dated June 20, 2012, the Board of Directors of WorkSafeBC approved deletion of Item C3-13.00, Mental Stress, of the Rehabilitation Services & Claims Manual, Volume II, and replacement with new Item C3-13.00, Section 5.1 - Mental Disorders, to reflect the Bill 14 amendments to the Workers Compensation Act as they relate to compensation for mental disorders. The legislative amendments will come into effect on July 1, 2012. 


New Item C3-13.00, Section 5.1 - Mental Disorders, applies to every decision made by WorkSafeBC or the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal on or
after July 1, 2012, in respect of a claim made but not finally adjudicated before July 1, 2012.


The stakeholder feedback received by the Board of Directors informed their decision-making on the new policy.


The resolution and policy amendments are effective July 1, 2012.

Action Regarding Bullying and Harassment

WorkSafeBC is currently working with employer and worker representatives to develop a “tool box” for employer programs on bullying and harassment.

School districts across BC already have policy regarding harassment. When two employees are involved, the collective agreement process must be followed. It includes provisions for investigation and disclosure of information. A site-based committee is not entitled to a harassment report.

Districts need to review their procedures especially where they relate to the public, parents, and students re harassment and bullying.  Policy and practice related to respect of others should be emphasized.

Harassment and Bullying.

§  WorkSafeBC is working on a policy on bullying and harassment. There will be stakeholder consultation, which will occur during July and August with the close of consultation expected in September.

§  The policy will include a definition of bullying and harassment. There may be conflicts between the current collective agreement provisions and the new factors with WorkSafeBC.

§  WorksafeBC will develop a prevention toolkit. They are looking at practice in other jurisdictions with similar language including Ontario, Australia, and California.

§  BCPSEA has provided WorkSafeBC with information on our current train-the-trainer model for harassment awareness and the Awareness and Prevention of Harassment online option available for school districts.

§  A WorkSafeBC officer could be called in to review how the employer is dealing with harassment and bullying because of an employee report.

Districts are strongly encouraged to participate in the consultation. If you send in feedback, BCPSEA would appreciate receiving a copy. We will be submitting feedback once the policy is public.

Consultation on Registration Requirements for Property Management Firms and Building Owners

The Assessment Department has proposed removing specific policy direction in the Assessment Manual regarding the registration of property management firms and building owners, as the direction is both misleading and redundant. If this section of policy is removed, the general principles outlined elsewhere in the Assessment Manual would be used to determine when property management firms and building owners should register.

The Policy and Regulation Division has prepared a discussion paper for stakeholder review and comment on whether this policy should be removed.

Stakeholders are invited to review the discussion paper and proposed policies and to provide feedback by September 21, 2012.

The discussion paper, proposed policies and information on providing feedback can be accessed by clicking the following link: Review or Comment

WorkSafeBC Consultation on New Policy — Employer’s Obligations Towards Other Workers – Section 115(1)(a)(ii)


At their May 2012 meeting, the WorkSafeBC Board of Directors approved the release for consultation of a discussion paper and proposed new policy regarding an employer’s duty towards other workers. The new policy is in bold text and highlighted in yellow.

Your feedback on the discussion paper, options and draft policy must be received by 4:30 pm Friday, September 14, 2012.

Many school districts have employees from other companies working on school district sites. This can be in the maintenance area, child care, youth and family counsellors, to name a few. This new policy, if adopted, will clarify the obligation when there are workers who are not employees of districts on site.

Determination of Retirement Date

As permanent awards are no longer paid for life, the determination of retirement date has become increasingly problematic. WorkSafeBC noted significant discord among WCAT decisions and inconsistencies in application of decisions, particularly for young workers. Over the past six years, the number of workers over 65 receiving monthly permanent award payments has increased from 131 to 452. Changes to government benefit schemes (CPP / OAS) are anticipated to encourage more people to work past age 65.


Proposed policy amendments will seek to provide direction as to when a worker is considered to be “retired,” when the retirement decision is to be made, and what evidence should be considered to determine when a worker would retire.

“OH&S Providers” Online Directory

WorkSafeBC has announced a new online directory for individuals to make contact with OH&S training providers in BC. Changes to the approval process for the Board are expected but not public yet.

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