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Gradual onset of stress to be covered under Worker’s Compensation

By Caitlin Snow Oct 13, 2023 | 10:53 AM

Elisa Ventur / Unsplash

If you have experienced a lot of stress over time in the workplace you will soon be able to submit a claim to the Worker’s Compensation Board.

Introduced at legislature Friday, the new bill would allow the gradual onset of stress to be considered for compensation as well as support for psychological injuries.

“We want to make sure working Nova Scotians are supported and have a healthy workplace to go to each day. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for some workers,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “This legislation will ensure the workplace insurance system is prepared to support workers who have experienced significant workplace stressors over time, with the goal of returning to work healthy.”

It would be part of a more modernized approach.

The amendments also include parameters for workplace stress that will not be considered, including issues such as performance management, termination of employment, a change in job description and interpersonal conflict.

These amendments would take effect next September, allowing time for the Workers’ Compensation Board to recruit specialized staff and consult with interested parties on developing policies.

The bill would also increase funeral benefits to $15,000 up from $4,000 for those who died on the job.

“This is a positive step forward to better protect Nova Scotians from psychological injury, and it brings us in line with other jurisdictions coast to coast. We look forward to working with the government to help protect both workers and employers from the impacts of this new type of compensable injury in our province.”
– Karen Adams, CEO, Workers’ Compensation Board

Changes would take effect next September.