Review will also look at workplace harassment prevention policies
Nova Scotia is seeking input from its residents to enhance the workers' compensation system and address workplace harassment, the province announced in a press release today.
"We know there is work to do to improve workers' compensation. The system needs to be updated with today's workplaces in mind to be the best it can be for Nova Scotians," said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. "We also want all workers to feel safe at work – not just physically but psychologically, too."
The Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia provides workplace injury insurance to Nova Scotia employers and employees. The compensation system has not been reviewed since 2002, and the province acknowledges that it falls behind other jurisdictions in various aspects, including workers' access to coverage, employer assessment rates, and benefits.
The Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration is overseeing the review of the system, working in collaboration with an eight-member review committee that includes employer and employee representatives. Douglas Reid, chair of the review committee, brings significant experience in management, regulatory compliance, financial services, and corporate governance, having been a partner with KPMG Canada for nearly 30 years.
The province is also taking steps to address workplace harassment by consulting the public. The gathered information will be used to develop rules that help employers prevent harassment and create healthier and safer workplaces.
Nova Scotians are encouraged to share their input on both the workers' compensation system and workplace harassment through various channels, including in-person and virtual sessions, an online survey, and written submissions. The in-person sessions will be held on specific dates in various locations across the province, with virtual sessions scheduled as well. The surveys will become available on November 14, 2023.
Karen Adams, CEO of the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, welcomes the review, saying, "We're pleased to participate in this review. We look forward to having conversations with workers and employers that help highlight both the things we're doing well and the areas that need to improve. Guided by input from those we serve and by our upcoming strategic plan for 2024-2030, we're ready to serve working Nova Scotians in new and better ways in the years to come."
With this initiative, Nova Scotia aims to create a more equitable and safer working environment for all its residents while aligning its workers' compensation system with the changing dynamics of today's workplaces.