On June 1, 2020 the WorkSafeBC board of directors released a proposed amendment to the BC Worker’s Compensation Act to add a presumption for communicable viral pathogens (such as the virus causing COVID-19) to Schedule 1 of the Act. WorkSafeBC’s description of Schedule 1 diseases is: “WorkSafeBC lists a disease in Schedule 1 in connection with a described process or industry wherever it is satisfied from the expert medical and scientific advice it receives that there is a substantially greater incidence of the particular disease in a particular employment than there is in the general population.”
The “normal” process to add a disease to Schedule 1 takes about 3 years. The WorkSafeBC board of directors is attempting to make this change within six months. WorkSafeBC released a discussion paper describing the change. RCC has responded to WorkSafeBC out of concern about the precedential and significant impacts of this decision.
As of Monday, June 15, 2020, WorkSafeBC had received 427 submissions of which more than 90% were from the employer community.