If you have an injured worker on modified work you can expect WSIB to pay the injured worker Loss of Earnings (LOE) during a holiday shutdown - even if the office(s) and work site(s) are closed. Yes, you are reading this correctly!
This can potentially have an adverse affect on your WSIB Experience Rating Plan especially for construction employers trying to mitigate a lost-time frequency beyond seven days.
WSIB considers a holiday shutdown as a 'temporary work disruption' and this can hinder the injured worker's ability to find employment for a period of time and thereby be at a disadvantage.
In determining whether the worker's employability is affected, WSIB looks at whether the worker is in the early phase of recovery, and is receiving WSIB-approved active health care treatment e.g. physiotherapy.
In practical terms, the worker is considered at a disadvantage whereby employability is affected; and LOE benefits warranted.
One possible way to eliminate possible lost-time and claim costs is to prepare a letter to the worker making them aware that modified work remains available during the holiday shutdown. This means the employer will need contingency planning, but as painful as this may seem, it is worth the effort to mitigate unwanted WSIB expenses. If the worker declines the work (in writing), this needs to be sent to WSIB before any shutdown occurs to request a ruling from the Case Manager in the event of an adverse decision.
Should employers have any questions please contact our office for consultation.
Click below to read the WSIB Operational Policy related to this article.
WSIB Operational Policy 15-06-01 Entitlement Following Work Disruptions