40:1 Bill 87, Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Alternate Insurance Plans), 2012

Hillier, Randy

Viewing: Original (current version) pdf

Bill 87                                                          2012

An Act to amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to provide employers with the right to participate in alternate insurance plans

Note: This Act amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.  For the legislative history of the Act, see the Table of Consolidated Public Statutes – Detailed Legislative History at www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

   1.  Subsection 2 (1) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 is amended by adding the following definition:

“alternate plan” means a plan in which a Schedule 1 employer or a Schedule 2 employer has opted to participate under section 67 and under which workers of the employer are entitled to receive benefits from an insurer that is not a body that comes within the definition of “public sector” in subsection 2 (1) of the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996; (“régime concurrent”)

   2.  Part I of the Act is amended by adding the following section:

Alternate plans

   2.2  Subject to the regulations made under this Act, nothing in this Act applies to an employer or a worker employed by the employer if the employer has opted to participate in an alternate plan under section 67 and the alternate plan is in force, except if the context specifically provides otherwise.

   3.  Subsection 11 (1) of the Act is amended by striking out the portion before clause (a) and substituting the following:

Insured workers

   (1)  The insurance plan applies to every worker who is employed by a Schedule 1 employer or a Schedule 2 employer except if the employer opts to participate in an alternate plan under section 67 and the alternate plan is in force.  However, the insurance plan does not apply to workers who are,

.     .     .     .     .

   4.  Section 16 of the Act is amended by adding “or an alternate plan” after “the insurance plan”.

   5.  Subsection 26 (2) of the Act is amended by adding “or an alternate plan” after “the insurance plan”.

   6.  Section 27 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Same, alternate plan

   (1.1)  Sections 28 and 29 apply with respect to a worker who sustains an injury or a disease that entitles him or her to benefits under an alternate plan and to the survivors of a deceased worker who are entitled to benefits under an alternate plan.

   7.  Paragraphs 1 and 2 of subsection 29 (1) of the Act are amended by adding at the end “or an alternate plan” in each case.

   8.  (1)  Section 67 of the Act is amended by adding “unless the employer opts to participate in an alternate plan under subsections (3) and (4) and the alternate plan is in force” at the end.

   (2)  Section 67 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Definition

   (2)  In this section,

“Tribunal” means the Financial Services Tribunal established under the Financial Services Commission of Ontario Act, 1997.

Alternate plan

   (3)  A Schedule 1 employer or a Schedule 2 employer may opt to participate in an alternate plan if, under it, workers of the employer are entitled to benefits that are comparable to those to which they would be entitled under the insurance plan, as it exists on the day the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Alternate Insurance Plans), 2012 comes into force, if the employer had not opted to participate in the alternate plan.

Means of opting for alternate plan

   (4)  In order to opt to participate in an alternate plan under subsection (3), an employer shall file notice containing the prescribed particulars with the Board at the prescribed time.

Appeal

   (5)  If an employer has opted to participate in an alternate plan and the alternate plan is in force, the employer or any workers of the employer who are affected by a decision of the insurer under the alternate plan may appeal the decision to the Tribunal in accordance with the prescribed requirements, if any.

Notice of appeal

   (6)  A notice of appeal shall be in writing and shall be served on the insurer and filed with the Tribunal within 30 days after the date of the insurer’s decision or within whatever other time period that is prescribed.

Hearing

   (7)  The Tribunal shall hold a hearing of an appeal.

Parties

   (8)  The parties to an appeal are the person who requests the appeal, the insurer and the other persons whom the Tribunal specifies.

Power of the Tribunal

   (9)  Upon hearing an appeal, the Tribunal may, by order, confirm, vary or rescind the decision appealed from or substitute its decision for that of the insurer.

Stay of decision

   (10)  The filing of a notice of appeal does not stay the decision of the insurer but the Tribunal may grant a stay until it disposes of the appeal.

Regulations

   (11)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

  (a)  prescribing anything that is described as being prescribed under this section;

  (b)  specifying which provisions of this Act and the regulations made under it apply and do not apply to alternate plans and the circumstances in which the provisions apply or do not apply;

   (c)  providing for transitional matters to deal with an employer who opts to participate in an alternate plan;

  (d)  governing the conduct of an appeal to the Tribunal under this section and the powers and duties of the Tribunal and the parties to the appeal with respect to the appeal.

   9.  Subsection 75 (1) of the Act is amended by adding “except if the employer has opted to participate in an alternate plan under section 67 and the alternate plan is in force” at the end.

   10.  Section 182.1 of the Act is repealed.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act, 2008

   11.  Sections 1 to 8, 10 and 11 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act, 2008 are repealed.

Commencement and Short Title

Commencement

   12.  This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

   13.  The short title of this Act is the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Alternate Insurance Plans), 2012.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to allow an employer, at any time, to opt to participate in an insurance plan that is offered by a private-sector insurer, instead of the insurance plan established under the Act, if the alternate plan offers benefits to the employer’s workers that are comparable to those offered by the insurance plan as it exists under the Act as of the date that the amendments to the Act come into force. To exercise the option, an employer is required to file a notice with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board containing the particulars specified in the regulations made under the Act. If an alternate plan is in force, the employer or any workers of the employer who are affected by a decision of the insurer under the alternate plan may appeal the decision to the Financial Services Tribunal.

The Bill also repeals the amendments to the Act made by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act, 2008 which presently do not come into force until January 1, 2013. Those amendments would have made insurance coverage mandatory in the construction industry for independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in partnerships and executive officers of corporations. As a result, insurance coverage for those categories of persons in the construction industry reverts to being optional.

Current Parliament
Past & Present
Contact an MPP
Participation in Committees
Watch the Legislature in Action
Use of Assembly Grounds
Petitions