Status: Bill 47 was introduced on November 5, 2020
Ministry responsible: Labour and Immigration

Overview

Bill 47: Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020 would amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Radiation Protection Act and the Workers’ Compensation Act to simplify language and remove unnecessary barriers for job creators without making substantive changes to workers’ rights and protections.

If passed, Bill 47 will bring balance to workplaces and help ensure workers can rely on a sustainable compensation system if they get ill or injured on the job.

Reducing red tape would support Alberta’s economic recovery by helping attract new investment opportunities and getting people back to work.

Key changes

If passed, Bill 47 will update the following legislation:

Occupational Health and Safety Act

  • Removing duplication and redundancy throughout the act to make it easier to understand and follow for job creators and workers.
  • Removing the requirement for health and safety committees and representatives to be on work sites with multiple employers and a prime contractor, such as construction sites
    • Prime contractors will be required to have a contact to coordinate health and safety issues between employers and workers
    • Occupational health and safety directors will still be able to require a committee or representative be present on any work site
  • Renaming discriminatory action complaints to ‘disciplinary action complaints’ to avoid confusion with human rights laws
    • Allowing occupational health and safety officers to dismiss complaints of questionable merit before starting an investigation
  • Clarifying definitions and reporting requirements of potentially serious incidents
  • Clarifying rules and definitions around dangerous work refusals to make it easier to follow so that serious health and safety concerns can be resolved more quickly

Radiation Protection Act

  • Incorporating radiation protection laws into the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide clarity for employers and workers and make them easier to follow

Workers’ Compensation Act

We are reversing some of the costly changes made in 2018 to ensure programs and services remain sustainable and affordable, including:

  • Reinstating an insurable earnings cap for injured and ill workers
  • Limiting  presumptive coverage for psychological injuries to firefighters, police officers, peace officers, correctional officers, paramedics and emergency dispatchers
    • Other types of workers still have access to coverage for work-related psychological injuries through the normal claim process
  • Returning the Workers’ Compensation Board’s responsibility to calculate cost of living adjustments, rather than basing them automatically on the Alberta consumer price index
  • Restoring a voluntary system for reinstating an injured worker
  • Maintaining injured workers’ right to choose a physician for a medical exam
  • Removing the requirement for employers to contribute to health benefit plans for injured workers who are off work
  • Continuing to allow the Workers’ Compensation Board to have oversight of the Accident Fund to address the needs of injured workers and employers
  • Moving services provided by the Fair Practices Office and the Medical Panels Office to other organizations to reduce duplication and save money

Next steps

If passed, most changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act will take effect September 1, 2021. Most changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act would take effect January 1, 2021.

Changes affecting the Fair Practices Office and Medical Panels Office would take effect April 1, 2021.

Resources

News