By Olivia D’Orazio
Most HR professionals keep abreast of anything that could impact the way businesses operate – including the proposed changes to WSIB. Unfortunately, a number of employers have been brushing aside the coming revisions.
“In my opinion, a lot of employers are not paying attention,” says Sandeep Jindal, legal counsel for Isthmus Legal. “It’s just noise to them.”
The best way to manage this massive change is to get in front of it. Jindal says HR professionals need to be proactive instead of reactive, and should endeavour to get involved in the development of the new system, which is currently in the consultation phase.
The best thing employers can do in anticipation of the changes is lock down their claims management processes.
“It needs to be a streamlined process,” says Michele Bruton, senior WCB financial analyst with Isthmus Legal. “Now is the best time to do it, before the new program comes out.”
There are five aspects to claims management, Jindal says. The first is administration.
“Many employers don’t pay attention to administration in claims,” he says. “I can’t emphasize that enough.”
The next is a solid return to work policy – which Jindal says needs to be written down. HR professionals also need to make themselves familiar with the applicable laws.
“This is ultimately a legal process,” Jindal says, adding that those HR professionals who neglect the legal process could find themselves in a tough spot when the WSIB changes are enacted.
HR professionals should also make themselves familiar with the financial implications of changes to their current compensation models. A strong financial analysis, Jindal says, will enable employers to effect a solid program to help with the transition.
Finally, Jindal urges the HR community to engage in the WSIB’s consultation process. Bruton says the insurance board pushes new information out almost daily.