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Policy updates

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The following administrative policies were updated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

The following policy and procedures were recently revised or introduced. All references to the “Act” are to The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013.

Employer Coverage and Registration (POL 12/2020)
This policy provides general guidelines for employer registration and coverage. It has been updated to clarify who is considered a worker, employer or contractor and to clarify WCB’s decision making for complex employment relationships.

Independent Worker Coverage (POL and PRO 13/2020)
This policy and procedure establish guidelines for providing independent worker coverage. It defines who can be considered an independent worker and therefore eligible for a WCB employer account (i.e., personal coverage). It clarifies that an independent worker who is not eligible for, or chooses not to elect, personal coverage is considered a worker of the principal(s) who is operating in a mandatory industry.

Contracts Involving Equipment (POL 14/2020)
This policy establishes coverage guidelines for contractors who operate equipment. It clarifies that self-employed equipment owners in all industries may elect personal coverage if they meet the requirements of the independent worker policy.

Governance Policy (POL 01/2021)
The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) board members are responsible for the stewardship of the WCB, and to oversee the WCB's adherence to provisions of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013. The board believes that a strong governance framework is necessary to ensure that it fulfils its responsibilities to workers and employers in the most effective manner. To ensure alignment with the needs of the WCB and governance best practices, the Governance Policy and Protocols – Board and Committee Meetings and Communications have been updated.

Psychologists (PRO 02/2021)
This procedure establishes administrative guidelines for approving and evaluating services provided by psychologists. The procedure has been updated to authorize counselling for up to eight weeks from a service provider who does not meet the WCB’s accreditation requirements if the injured worker is already receiving treatment from that provider. If return to work (RTW) or recovery does not immediately occur, the WCB will arrange treatment with an accredited provider and the services with the unaccredited provider will cease.

Second Injury and Re-Employment Reserve (POL and PRO 03/2021)
Section 145 of the Act provides for the setting aside of a special fund to meet loss “arising from any disaster or other circumstance the liability for which would, in the opinion of the board, unfairly burden the employers in any class.” The Second Injury and Re-Employment Reserve was established to provide employers with cost relief on claims attributed to earlier injuries and to assist in facilitating return to work. These documents have been updated to clarify guidelines regarding cost relief in situations involving pre-existing conditions, secondary injuries, or while travelling or participating in WCB funded treatment or RTW programming.

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