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By Jeremy Hainsworth
Nov. 8—Workers will no longer be required to prove that a psychological injury such as PTSD is work-related to qualify for workers' compensation benefits.
Under Bill 39, The Workers’ Compensation Amendment Act, 2016, introduced in the Saskatchewan legislature Oct. 25, “unless the contrary is proven, if a worker or former worker is diagnosed with a psychological injury by a psychiatrist or psychologist, that injury is presumed to be an injury that arose out of and in the course of the worker’s employment.”
The legislation's goal is “to reduce the barriers workers may face when seeking support for these injuries,” Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Don Morgan told the legislature Oct. 27. “Psychological injury” is defined to include “post-traumatic stress disorder, as described in the edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association.”
The bill, which has passed the required three readings to become law and is awaiting royal assent and proclamation, amends The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013. Royal assent—or approval by the lieutenant governor, who represents Queen Elizabeth II in the province—is expected shortly, although no dates have been set, government spokeswoman Lisa Danyluk told Bloomberg BNA Oct. 28. Canada being a constitutional monarchy, all passed bills must be assented to by the Crown, a formality before they are proclaimed into law. In provinces, passed bills go to the lieutenant governor for signing, federally to the governor general.
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For more information on Saskatchewan HR law and regulation, see the Saskatchewan primer.
Text of the Workers’ Compensation Amendment Act is availablehere.
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