HALIFAX, N.S. — Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and Labour, David Morse, has released a report on the review of the workers’ compensation program in his province.
The review identifies Nova Scotia as having the second-highest workers’ compensation premiums in the country, while having the second-lowest benefits.
The committee reported that while the basic principles of the program are sound, it recommends changes such as extending workforce coverage, creating a more comprehensive prevention strategy and improving supplementary benefits for injured workers.
The review recognized that the Workers’ Compensation Board has made dramatic improvements in reducing its unfunded liability to 28.4 per cent in 2001 from 64.1 per cent in 1994. It also notes the board has been progressive and successful in the area of revenue collection and recommends that the maximum insurable wage rate remain at 152 per cent of the average industrial wage.
“Workers’ compensation is a complex issue that affects thousands of Nova Scotians,” says Morse.
The report also recommends improving the workers’ compensation program’s accountability by restructuring the board of directors to include non-voting representatives from the Workers’ Advisors Program, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal and Environment and Labour’s occupational health and safety division.
The review was expected to take up to 12 months and to cost about $500,000. The committee completed its work on time and within budget.
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