Injured workers' benefits
Bill 47 removes many legal responsibilities of employers to workers. One change is the removal of the critical responsibility for employers to pay health and dental benefits to workers off work resulting from an injury on the job.
The diminished financial responsibility of employers to injured workers is a key factor in making all workplaces more dangerous.
Employers were required to pay health benefits for injured workers while they were absent from work or unable to perform their regular duties due to a work injury for up to one year following the accident. Injured workers were entitled to the same benefits they had before the accident.
Typically, worker’s spouse, adult interdependent partner, or dependants covered under the worker’s health benefit plan were also eligible for continued coverage after the accident.
Employers that did not extend health benefits were penalized.
Employers will no longer have to contribute to health benefit plans (typically covers family) for injured workers who are off work. This cost will be borne by the injured workers.
Eliminating the financial responsibility for injured workers’ benefits reduces employers’ incentive to make workplaces safe for workers.
This will return Alberta to the pre-2017 culture of unreasonably denied WCB claims.