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Manitoba Extends Workers Compensation Coverage

August 28 2008 - The number of industries covered by the Manitoba Workers Compensation Board will be increased from January 1, 2009. Announcing the extended coverage, Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan said:

"We are committed to gradually extending coverage in a balanced manner that makes sense for employers and workers.

"This is another important step and extends compulsory coverage to about 30,000 employees in industries that are higher risk, related to currently covered industries or to industries that already have higher levels of voluntary coverage."

The move follows a major public review of the Workers Compensation Act and extensive consultations by the WCB - including mailing out 43,000 consultation packages.

An additional 7,500 employers and 30,000 more workers will be covered by the WCB. From January 2009, Manitoba will cease to be the province with the lowest level of covered workforces. Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan will have lower coverage levels. The Manitoba government extended compulsory WCB coverage to about 6,400 workers in January 2007.

Nancy Allan said:

"Manitoba will no longer have the lowest level of coverage in the country and we are pleased to have m oved into the Canadian mainstream. However, more needs to be done. In order to achieve this, the WCB will launch a campaign to encourage voluntary coverage for non-compulsory industries after implementation of the extension as was recommended by the public review."

The Minister observed that WCB coverage provides advantages for everyone, including:

  • wage replacement and healthcare treatment for workers, and
  • protection against lawsuits for employers

Manitoba's Workers Compensation Board had Canada's second-lowest average assessment rate in 2006 and 2007 and the third-lowest in 2008. There has been a fall of 25% in the time-loss injury rate since 2000.

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