Service decisions made by the WCB can have a significant impact on the injured worker and the employer. Workers and employers want and expect to be treated fairly when interacting with the WCB. The WCB is required to treat its customers in a fair and reasonable manner.
The FPO works to promote fairness within WCB practices and procedures. Our role is to be an impartial, confidential and informal resource for workers, their dependants, employers, external service providers, the general public and for the WCB. As an impartial resource, we do not take sides. We assess each situation based on its own merits and work towards a fair resolution and improved services.
When looking at issues of fairness, the FPO considers several factors:
How was the decision made? (the decision-making process)
- Did the WCB decision-maker have the authority to make the decision?
- Did the person(s) impacted by the decision know that a decision was pending?
- Did they have a reasonable opportunity to provide, correct or respond to information relied on by the decision-maker?
- Did the decision-maker consider all the relevant information, including legislation, policies and procedures?
- Was the decision consistent with WCB legislation and policies and if so, was the right policy applied at the right time and under the right circumstances?
- Did the decision-maker correctly apply their discretion?
Was the decision timely?
- Was the decision made in a timely manner?
- Did the decision-maker keep the parties informed throughout the decision-making process?
- Were there delays in the process and if so, were the parties informed of the delays and the reasons for them?
- Were new timelines provided and then met?
How was the decision communicated?
- Did the decision-maker provide the decision to the affected person(s) and explain it to them?
- Were the reasons for the decision provided in a manner and form easily understood by, and accessible to, those affected?
- Did the reasons adequately outline the basis for the decision?
- Was the decision documented on the claim file or the employer account?
- Did the decision-maker explain and provide information about how to appeal the decision?
How was the customer treated?
- Was the customer treated with respect and courtesy throughout the process?
- Was the WCB staff person accessible to the customer and willing to listen?
- Were phone calls or other communication returned and were questions fully answered?
- Were mistakes acknowledged and apologies offered?
Fairness does not necessarily mean that you will get the outcome that you want. It does mean that certain procedural steps will be consistently followed throughout the process and that you will be heard and treated with respect and courtesy.