When someone is injured, a top concern is obviously how long it will be before they get better. And this goes hand-in-hand with when they can return to work, and what they will be able to do when they return. Sometimes, it turns out that they will never be able to do the same things as they once did and they face living – and working – with a disability.
Employers face a number of responsibilities when an employee becomes disabled. Disabilities are protected under human rights legislation, which means employers can’t take negative action – such as terminating their employment – because of a disability, unless there is no other choice. When the injury is work-related, there are even more obligations.
In BC, a new law just came into effect that requires provincially regulated employers to co-operate with employees and WorkSafeBC, the province’s workers’ compensation and safety authority, towards returning workers injured at work back to work safely. BC employers with 20 or more workers are also required to maintain the injured worker’s job if the worker has been with them for at least 12 months.