Bill 30’s implications on WCB Premiums


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COVID-19 is causing unprecedented levels of depression and anxiety in employees. Employers beware.

When a worker in a high-risk occupation experiences trauma that leads to psychological suffering, entitlement to benefits is generally automatic. This ‘presumptive coverage’ is appropriate and fair in the context of objectively ‘acute’ trauma, i.e. specific, sudden, and otherwise horrifying experiences traceable to a definite time and place. In other words, for first responders, or others engaged in high-risk employment, a PTSD claim is usually accepted with nary a question asked.

But suppose the definition of ‘trauma’ was stretched to include general anxiety and burnout caused by excessive workload, disagreements with coworkers, or a toxic workplace; would this degree of subjectivity not unleash a torrent of mental health claims with potential to crush employers?

Well, as of Bill 30’s passage, the consequences of such a profound change have graduated from the hypothetical to the concrete. Employers are now legally responsible for the mental health of their workers, complete with a duty to inquire into the state of their well-being. The implications of this expansion of legal duty cannot be overstated.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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About Me

Ben Barfett, Principal and Consultant, has spent his life in the construction sector, specifically heavy civil, enviro, commercial, and energy. Having held senior roles in business development, technical advisory, and regional management, he earned his stripes in the field and in head office. Conscious of the interplay between commercial, legal, and execution aspects of construction, his business insights are informed by expertise in WCB policy and enhanced with disability-specific training.

Blue Collar Consulting

Blue Collar Consulting is a WCB and disability management firm. The company specializes in rapid and affordable disability solutions that advance current claims, contain the cost of future claims, and get injured workers back on their feet.