WSIB for Retirement Home Workers an Issue That Can No Longer Be Ignored
CLAC is bringing attention to the benefits of extending coverage to these workers and the downfalls of private insurance coverage
Cambridge, ON—The well-being of Ontario’s front-line healthcare workers in retirement home settings is being jeopardized due to a lack of coverage under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), according to new submission by CLAC to the government of Ontario.
The paper, submitted in response to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s request for feedback on the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board operational review report, lays out the benefits of extending coverage to these workers and the downfalls of private insurance coverage, which CLAC argues has been woefully inadequate.
“Today marks the International Day of Mourning, when we remember the workers who have lost their lives on the job and recognize the pain of family affected by workplace injuries,” says Ian DeWaard, CLAC Ontario director. “The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded this issue, with thousands of healthcare workers across the province contracting the virus but without an effective recourse to recoup lost wages.
“The personal support workers, housekeeping staff, dietary aides, and other essential workers in retirement homes put their health and safety on the line every day as they care for our most vulnerable citizens. The government knows this and should recognize their contributions with coverage under WSIB, especially as the third wave of the pandemic increases their risk of contracting an occupational illness.”
CLAC believes that WSIB offers coverage superior to that of private insurance for workers who face an occupational illness or injury. Private plans do not cover the claims of workers who are concurrently employed by two or more workplaces, a reality for many in the healthcare sector. WSIB also has the added benefit of a formal appeal system for those whose claims are denied, while workers covered by private plans must take on the burden of lengthy and costly civil litigation that many cannot afford.
The submission can be found in its entirety here.