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Duty to Cooperate and Duty to Maintain Employment: New Return-to-Work Requirements

Employers and employees now have a legal duty to cooperate with each other and with WorkSafeBC for an employee’s timely and safe return to work following a workplace injury.

The Workers Compensation Act (WCA) Bill 41 received royal assent in late November 2022 and part of the Bill involves a duty to cooperate in any workplace injury that occurred on or after January 1, 2022, as well as a duty to maintain employment in any workplace injury that occurred on or after July 1, 2023. Employers and employees have mutual obligations under the duty to cooperate.

Specifically, both parties are legally required to cooperate by contacting each other and maintaining communication, identifying suitable work for the employee, providing WorkSafeBC with information required to support return-to-work efforts, and doing other related tasks that WorkSafeBC may require.

More information can be found on WorkSafeBC’s Employer: Duty to cooperate and duty to maintain employment page.

Related Best Practices

Employers are advised to review and revise their policies and procedures to ensure they are in alignment with the Act and to ensure they contain a framework for disability management and return-to-work practices.

Access your WorkSafeBC Employer portal to assist with monitoring the progress of injured employees.

Ensure that there is ongoing dialogue with the CSSEIP disability management case manager, in cooperation with the WorkSafeBC case manager, to explore all reasonable return-to-work options. These options may include accommodation scenarios considered with the employee, and, if more complex, with the employee’s union representative. Note that CSSEA now has a CSSEIP Coordinator who can also assist with employer questions.


Helpful Resources

WorkSafeBC:

Others:


In the coming months, CSSEA will be building on disability management and return-to-work resources for employers. If you have further questions please contact Satvinder Basran, EIP Coordinator at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone at: 604.601.3127 or toll-free: at 1.800.377.3340 Ext. 127.

Communications Contact

Doris Sun
Director of Communications
604.601.3110
604.319.5010
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