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N.B. Introduces Workers’ Compensation Changes To Lower Rates, Enhance Safety

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FREDERICTON – New Brunswick has introduced legislative changes it says will lower workers’ compensation rates and enhance workplace safety.

The changes, which were introduced last week, would apply to three different pieces of legislation.

Among other things, they would clarify obligations of employers and supervisors respecting worker health and safety, extend the timeframe for prosecutions under the act, and reinforce the employer’s obligation to return injured workers to work.

Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder said the changes are meant to make workplaces safer and ensure employees safely return to work as soon as they are able to.

“This builds on legislative amendments our government introduced earlier this year: modernizing legislation to protect the rights and benefits of workers while maintaining a balance that will help make the workers’ compensation system more sustainable and affordable for employers,” said Holder in a news release.
New Brunswick has seen its workers’ compensation rates skyrocket in recent years.

Earlier this year, WorkSafeNB said the 2020 rate will be $2.40 per $100 of payroll, down from $2.65 this year.

Mel Norton, who chairs WorkSafeNB’s board of directors, said the improvements are essential in building healthier and safer workplaces.

“The legislation to enhance an employer’s duty to accommodate is also significant, as the benefits of work and keeping connected to the workplace are proven factors in the successful rehabilitation and recovery of an injured worker,” said Norton in the release.

Brad Perry is the news director of CHSJ/Country 94, a Huddle content partner.