FIGHTBACK FACTSHEET ISSUE #6 BILL 47 AND INJURED WORKERS’ BENEFITS

Background
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.

Before Bill 47 After Bill 47
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.
Injured workers appealing a WCB ruling still receive wage replacement and benefits. Appeal bodies within the WCB may suspend or terminate wage-loss replacement and other benefits while an injured worker is appealing a WCB decision.

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.