WCB Claims and
What to do when an injured worker is due to be laid off
I often get asked what an employer
should do if they are laying off a
worker and they are currently are on a
Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) claim.
The reality is that the heavy construction industry,
for the most part, is a seasonal industry.
Most companies lay off their workers at the
end of the season and then re-hire people in
the spring again. What people do in their layoff
time varies from collecting employment insurance
to working for another industry or maybe
they vacation somewhere warmer. It varies
from worker to worker.
If a worker on a WCB claim when the normal
season layoff comes it can be a real pain for
employers. The real issue is the worker is not
medically fit to return to work, the WCB may
pay them if the injury and layoff would preclude
them from working somewhere else during
the layoff period.
An example of this is Sam’s case. Sam works
in the heavy construction industry driving
heavy equipment until layoff but was injured
at work. In the wintertime, Sam works doing
snow removal for another company but due to
his injury, this year during layoff cannot do his
snow removal job. Sam’s wages would continue
to be paid by the WCB unless the employer
can find a job for Sam to do until he is fully recovered.
Where possible, it is in the employer’s
best interest to keep workers employed so the
employer isn’t incurring WCB costs for the
claim during layoff. Keeping people employed
during a layoff season is not always possible for
some employers, but if possible, it is a way to
reduce WCB costs.
In the past, if a worker was on WCB they
would often make more than they would working
their normal season in a seasonal industry.
The Saskatchewan WCB brought in Section
70, recognizing that some workers were making
more on WCB than they normally would
make in a year. Section 70 states that a review
will take place within 24 weeks of the claim’s
acceptance to review the wage loss to see what
By Tracy Slywka, Injury Solutions Canada
DMYTRO SIDELNIKOV / 123RF
thinkbigmagazine.ca | Quarter 1 2021 | Think BIG 47