April 3, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WINNIPEG – An independent review of Manitoba’s Workers Compensation Board (WCB) has confirmed the rate system is encouraging claims suppression, an illegal practice by which employers prevent or discourage workers from reporting workplace injuries. This finding was presented in ‘Fair Compensation Review’, a report by Paul Petrie released today by the Minister of Family Services and Labour.
“This independent report confirms the WCB rate system is encouraging employers to illegally suppress workplace injuries and deny fair compensations to injured workers,” said Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck. “Instead, Manitoba workers need a WCB rate system that encourages employers to invest in real injury prevention.”
Manitoba’s WCB rate system (known as “Experience Rating”) rewards employers for having fewer and cheaper workers compensation claims by charging them lower premiums. Today’s report shows that instead of encouraging employers to invest in safer workplaces, the system has encouraged many employers to keep their WCB costs down by suppressing claims and pressuring injured workers to return to work before they are healthy enough. Although these practices are illegal, Petrie’s report notes that the WCB has not penalized a single employer for this widespread behaviour.
“The MFL is disappointed the report does not recommend abolishing the rate system that is encouraging so many employer abuses,” said Rebeck. “But we support the recommendations as a good first step to restoring the integrity of workers compensation in Manitoba.”
The MFL is calling on the Province and the WCB to take swift action on recommendations from the Petrie report and from two other workplace health and safety reviews released today.
“The Province has received an independent prescription for safer and healthier workplaces,” said Rebeck. “Now it’s time for action so that working families can have confidence their loved ones will make it home from work every day, healthy and in one piece.”
Send a message to your MLA about this issue HERE.
Download a copy of the MFL news release.
Download a copy of the Fair Compensation Review Report, the WCB External Review by Paul Petrie.