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AN ACT TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND WELL‑BEING OF WORKING ALBERTANS

AN ACT TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND
WELL‑BEING OF WORKING ALBERTANS

Chapter 25


HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, enacts as follows:

1   The Occupational Health and Safety Act as set out in Schedule 1 is enacted and may be cited as Chapter O-2.1 of the Statutes of Alberta, 2017.

2   The Workers’ Compensation Act is amended as set out in Schedule 2.

 


Schedule 2

AMENDMENTS TO THE
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ACT

Amends RSA 2000 cW‑15

1   The Workers’ Compensation Act is amended by this Act.

 

14   The following is added after section 23:

Part 3.1
Fair Practices Office

Fair Practices Office

23.1(1)  The Fair Practices Office is established and consists of the Fair Practices Commissioner appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and any employees that are necessary for the purposes of carrying out the business and affairs of the Fair Practices Office appointed in accordance with the Public Service Act.

(2)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may also appoint one or more Deputy Fair Practices Commissioners.

(3)  Subject to the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act and any applicable regulations under that Act, the Fair Practices Commissioner and any Deputy Fair Practices Commissioners may be appointed for a maximum term of 3 years and are eligible for reappointment for additional terms of not more than 3 years each.

(4)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall determine the remuneration that is payable to the Fair Practices Commissioner and a Deputy Fair Practices Commissioner.

(5)  The remuneration referred to in subsection (4) must be set in accordance with any applicable regulations under the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act.

Fair Practices Commissioner

23.2(1)  The Fair Practices Commissioner shall

                           (a)    subject to subsection (2), review and make recommendations to the Board, the Appeals Commission or the Medical Panels Office, or any one or more of them, as the Fair Practices Commissioner considers appropriate,

                                  (i)    relating to any matter under this Act, for the purpose of determining administrative fairness and processes used to reach decisions, and

                                (ii)    relating to a breach of the Code of Rights and Conduct,

                           (b)    establish programs directed at providing independent advice, assistance and advocacy services to employers and to workers and their dependants, and

                           (c)    perform any other function or duty provided for in the regulations.

(2)  In accordance with the regulations, the Fair Practices Commissioner may review and make recommendations on a matter referred to in subsection (1)(a),

                           (a)    if a complaint is made in accordance with the regulations to the Fair Practices Commissioner by a worker, the worker’s dependant or an employer,

                           (b)    if a matter is referred to the Commissioner by the Board or the Appeals Commission, or

                           (c)    on the Commissioner’s own motion.

(3)  The powers and duties conferred on the Fair Practices Commissioner by this section may be exercised and performed notwithstanding any provision in this Act or any other Act to the effect

                           (a)    that any matter referred to in subsection (1)(a) is final,

                           (b)    that no appeal lies in respect of the matter referred to in subsection (1)(a), or

                           (c)    that no proceeding or decision of the Board, the Appeals Commission or the Medical Panels Office, or by any officer, employee or member of the Board, the Appeals Commission or the Medical Panels Office whose decision, act or omission it is, may be challenged, reviewed, quashed or called into question.

(4)  The Fair Practices Office may request the Board, the Appeals Commission, the Medical Panels Office, a worker, worker’s dependant or employer to provide it with any records or information, including personal information, that it considers necessary to make a recommendation, including the records and information relating to a matter that is being reviewed that are in the possession of the Board or the review body.

(5)  For the purposes of subsection (4),

                           (a)    the Fair Practices Office is authorized to collect and use the records and information, and

                           (b)    the Board, the Appeals Commission and the Medical Panels Office are authorized to disclose the records and information.

(6)  The Board, the Appeals Commission and the Medical Panels Office may each enter into an agreement with the Fair Practices Office respecting the manner in which the records and information required to be provided under subsection (4) are to be provided to the Fair Practices Office, including by electronic means.

(7)  A person receiving records and information under this section shall not use or disclose the records or information except for a purpose related to this section.

Annual report and meetings

23.3(1)  The Fair Practices Commissioner shall, in a form satisfactory to the Minister, 

                           (a)    submit a report to the Minister annually, and

                           (b)    at any other times that the Minister directs, submit a report containing the information requested by the Minister.

(2)  The Fair Practices Commissioner shall meet with the Board at least annually and at any other times that the Minister directs or that the Fair Practices Commissioner requests.

Costs of the Fair Practices Office

23.4   The costs of carrying on the operations of the Fair Practices Office, as approved by the Minister, and the remuneration payable to the Fair Practices Commissioner shall be paid by the Minister and be reimbursed quarterly to the Crown by the Board from the Accident Fund.

Immunity

23.5   No action may be maintained or brought against the Fair Practices Commissioner, a Deputy Fair Practices Commissioner or any employees or agents of the Fair Practices Office in respect of any act or decision done or made in the honest belief that it was within the jurisdiction of the Fair Practices Office.

Regulations

23.6   The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

                           (a)    respecting the functions and duties of the Fair Practices Office;

                           (b)    respecting the functions and duties of the Fair Practices Commissioner;

                           (c)    respecting the ownership, custody, control, collection, use and disclosure of records, reports and information submitted to or created or acquired by the Fair Practices Office, the Fair Practices Commissioner or a Deputy Fair Practices Commissioner;

                           (d)    respecting any matter that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the intent of this section and sections 23.1 to 23.5.

Transitional regulations

50   The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations providing for the transitional application of the amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act made by this Act.

Coming into force

51(1)  Sections 11(1)(a), 12(1)(a), (b) and (d), 26, 27, 28, 35, 38, 42, 44 and 45 come into force on January 1, 2018.

(2)  Sections 4(1)(a), 15, 16, 17 and 18 come into force on April 1, 2018.

(3)  Sections 4(1)(b) and (2), 9, 11(1)(b) and (c) and (2), 12(1)(c) and (2), 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 39, 41, 43 and 46 come into force on September 1, 2018.

(4)  Section 14 comes into force on December 1, 2018.

(5)  Sections 19 and 21 come into force on Proclamation.