FIGHTBACK FACTSHEET ISSUE #5 BILL 47 AND REINSTATING INJURED WORKERS

Background
One of the key changes in Bill 47 is the removal of an employer’s obligation to re-employ injured workers when they are ready to return to work.
The omnibus bill puts employer profits ahead of workers’ health and safety and would return the Workers Compensation Board to a corporate model that denies many injured workers the compensation to which they are entitled.

Before Bill 47 After Bill 47
Employers are obligated to reinstate an injured worker and accommodate them. Employers will not be legally obligated to reinstate an injured worker. Employers may do so voluntarily.
Employers have a duty to accommodate disabled workers through human rights legislation. This is typically a lengthy (approx. two years) reinstatement process with the Human Rights Commission. During the process, WCB can reduce or terminate an injured worker’s benefits via a process known as “deeming”.
While employers technically have an obligation to accommodate injured workers, Alberta no longer provides an effective way for workers to appeal when employers fail to meet this obligation.

What’s next?
This factsheet only describes some of the changes in Bill 47. We will be providing more information on these issues and others regularly over the next few months. On top of the radical changes to local union administration passed in Bill 32, Bill 47 is another government attack on our rights at work. Visit unifor.org/alberta to learn more.