Following years of consultation, the Nova Scotia government has tabled Bill 322, which would amend the province’s Workers’ Compensation Act to cover gradual onset stress. Once passed, the Bill’s amendments would allow Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) coverage for qualifying workers who experience significant stress over time that is wholly or predominantly caused by their employment. Workers would not qualify for such coverage due to stress induced from a change in the employees’ work or work conditions nor would coverage be provided for stress emanating from an employee being disciplined or having their work terminated. The amendments stemming from this bill would come into force in September 2024 which would allow time for the Nova Scotia Workers’ Compensation Board to develop policies related to these legislative changes.
RCC has consistently expressed concern regarding such amendments given the difficulty in differentiating between the gradual onset stress an employee experiences at work versus the gradual onset stress the employee experiences in other aspects of their lives. Nevertheless, as other provinces began covering gradual onset stress, it was clear that Nova Scotia would eventually move to harmonize with these jurisdictions.
RCC will continue working with the Workers’ Compensation Board in an effort to ensure that the policies related to these amendments will be reasonable.
For questions or more information contact
Director, Government Relations (Atlantic)