Workers' Compensation Safety Board of Nova Scotia

What's New

Here we will list consultations taking place across the province to help develop policies on a wide range of issues as well as new or amended policies

Open for consultation

Rate setting policies being revised:

The Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (the “WCB”) consults with stakeholders before creating new policies or revising existing policies.  Policy topics may be chosen from the Revolving Program Policy Agenda, or they may come from emerging issues or trends in the workers’ compensation environment.  The particular topics discussed in the attached paper originated from the workers’ compensation appeal system. 

The Board of Directors has decided that the following two policies be revised to provide greater clarification and to address issues raised by the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal:  

  • Policy 9.3.1R1 – Classification, Rate Setting and Experience Rating Process.
  • Policy 9.3.3R1 Data Used in Rate Setting at Rate Group Level

The attached consultation paper  “Program Policy Background Paper - Clarification of Rate Setting Policies: Policy 9.3.1R1 – Classification, Rate Setting and Experience Rating Process and Policy 9.3.3R1Data Used in Rate Setting at Rate Group Level” provides background and rationale for the proposed changes and includes draft revisions to the policies.

The proposed policy revisions do not change the way in which
the WCB carries out the annual rate setting process. Rather, the proposed revisions provide additional detail on how the WCB currently carries out the process.  The policy background paper makes it clear that broad changes to the process are not under consideration at
this time.

The consultation period concludes on June 30th, 2017.  Please review the background paper and draft policy revisions and provide your written feedback by June 30th, 2017 to:

Nancy Stacey
Policy Analyst
WCB of Nova Scotia
PO Box 1150
Halifax NS B3J 2Y2
E-mail: nancy.stacey@wcb.ns.ca

DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: June 30th, 2017

New or Amended Policies

Pre-Existing Conditions (Policy Consultation):

After being ranked as a high priority policy item in the 2011 Policy Issue Identification process, the WCB Board of Directors approved a two stage policy consultation on Pre-Existing Conditions in Spring 2016. The first stage of the consultation took place in June 2016 and the second stage from September 2016 – January 2017. This consultation produced extensive feedback, significantly more than is typically received throughout the course of a policy consultation.

The submissions were very thoughtful and well researched. It is clear from reviewing them that stakeholders put significant time and effort into understanding the WCB’s issue papers, as well as the relevant legislation and policy.  This level of involvement in the policy development process is indicative of the commitment of stakeholder groups and system partners in improving the workers compensation system in Nova Scotia, and in ensuring safe and healthy workplaces for all Nova Scotians. 

The feedback indicates that while there are concrete concerns with how claims involving pre-existing conditions are adjudicated, stakeholders generally feel the draft policy is not the desired solution to address these concerns. Both worker and employer stakeholders urge the WCB not to proceed with the draft policy.

In March 2017, considering stakeholder input, the Board of Directors decided that policy development was not the best way to provide clarity on this issue. Instead, as stakeholders suggest, efforts will be undertaken to provide WCB decision makers with additional tools and training regarding the adjudication of claims involving pre-existing conditions. This concludes policy development for pre-existing conditions at this time. 

The Board of Directors thanks all stakeholders for taking the time to prepare feedback and participate in the policy consultation process. Stakeholder involvement is essential to a strong Workplace Safety and Insurance System, and helps to inform balanced policy development agenda. 

Sincerely,

Caroline Read
Policy Analyst
WCB of Nova Scotia
902-491-8902

E-mail: caroline.read@wcb.ns.ca