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Penalties for non-compliance in Work Reintegration process for workers

What are the penalties for non-co-operation in the Work Reintegration process for workers? 

Most workers and employers co-operate in the Work Reintegration process. However, in cases where the WSIB determines either you or your employer is not co-operating in fulfilling your legal obligations, there may be a penalty.

Policy # 19-02-02 Responsibilities of the Workplace Parties in Work Reintegration sets out the obligations you and your employer have in the Work Reintegration process and, when applicable, your employer’s obligation to re-employ you. The WSIB informs and educates both of you about your obligations to co-operate in the Work Reintegration process. Penalties for non-co-operation that apply to workers include:

  • The initial non-co-operation penalty is a 50 per cent reduction in your wage-loss benefits. This penalty comes into effect seven WSIB business days from the date of the written notice to you.
  • If your non-co-operation continues past the 14th calendar day following the date the written notice comes into effect, the WSIB suspends your wage-loss benefits.
  • For work transition activities where non-co-operation continues past the 14th calendar day, the WSIB terminates your work transition assessment and/or work transition plan in addition to reducing your wage-loss benefits.

Your wage-loss benefits remain reduced/suspended until you start co-operating again. Your benefits are restored on the day after the WSIB is satisfied of your renewed co-operation in the process.

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What are the penalties for non-co-operation in the Work Reintegration process for my employer? 

Most workers and employers co-operate in the Work Reintegration process. However, in cases where the WSIB determines either you or your employer is not co-operating in fulfilling your legal obligations, you may be penalized.

Policy # 19-02-02 Responsibilities of the Workplace Parties in Work Reintegration sets out the obligations you and your employer have in the Work Reintegration process and, when applicable, your employer’s obligation to re-employ you. The WSIB informs and educates both of you about your obligations to co-operate in the Work Reintegration process.  Penalties for non-co-operation that apply to employers include:

  • The initial non-co-operation penalty is 50 per cent of the cost of wage-loss benefits to you. This penalty comes into effect seven WSIB business days from the date of the written notice to your employer.
  • If your employer’s non-co-operation continues past the 14th calendar day following the date the written notice comes into effect, the WSIB levies a penalty of 100 per cent of the wage-loss benefits payable to you, plus 100 per cent of any costs associated with providing work transition services to you. The full combined penalty can last up to 12 months.
  • If you work for a small employer who employs fewer than 20 workers, the initial non-co-operation penalty for your employer comes into effect 14 WSIB business days from the date of the WSIB’s written notice to them. This recognizes that they may not have the same capabilities and/or resources immediately available to achieve Work Reintegration outcomes.

If the WSIB is notified that your employer has started co-operating again, they will stop the non-co-operation penalty on the day following the day they are satisfied of your employer’s renewed co-operation. This applies to all employers.

When applicable, your employer can also be penalized for not fulfilling their re-employment obligations. 

If you are employed in the Construction Sector, read about the Re-employment penalties for construction employers. Information on re-employment penalties for Construction Sector employers is also found in Policy # 19-05-04, Re-employment Penalties and Payments - Construction Industry.

What are the Re-employment Penalties for Non-Construction employers?

In addition to an obligation to co-operate in the Work Reintegration process, employers who meet certain criteria also have an obligation to offer to re-employ their injured or ill worker who is medically fit to return to their pre-injury job or suitable work.

If you work in a non-Construction Sector, your employer has an obligation to re-employ you if the following three conditions exist:

  • You have been ‘unable to work’ as a result of your work-related injury or illness
  • You have been continuously employed by your employer for at least one year before the date of your injury/illness, and 
  • Your employer regularly employs 20 or more workers.

Your employer may be penalized if the WSIB determines that they are not fulfilling their re-employment obligations. Examples include:

  • They can be fined up to the equivalent of your net average earnings for the year before your injury/illness.
  • The WSIB may also make re-employment payments to you or pay you loss of earnings (LOE) benefits, depending on whether you are fit for the essential work duties of your job or fit for accommodated or alternate work.

Failure to comply with both co-operation and re-employment obligations

If your employer is found to be in breach of both their co-operation and re-employment obligations during overlapping periods in the same claim, the WSIB will levy a single penalty. The penalty levied will be the higher of the two amounts.

Where the non-co-operation and re-employment breach occurs at different times in the same claim, the WSIB may levy more than one penalty.

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What are the Re-employment Penalties for Construction employers?

Effective September 1, 2008, a new regulation on re-employment took effect for all employers in the construction industry, including those with less than 20 workers.

If you perform construction work for a construction sector employer, your employer has a re-employment obligation if you are injured or have been unable to work because of the work-related injury/illness. You are considered unable to work if, as a result of the work-related injury/illness, you:

  • Are absent from work
  • Work less than regular hours, and/or
  • Require accommodated/modified work that pays, or normally pays, less than your regular pay.

Your employer’s obligation to re-employ begins when they are notified that their injured construction worker (you), who has been unable to work, is medically able to perform:

  • The essential duties of their pre-injury job
  • Suitable construction work, or
  • Suitable non-construction work.

Your employer’s obligation to re-employ you ends the earliest of:

  • Two years from the date of your injury/illness.
  • One year after you are medically able to perform the essential duties of your pre-injury job.
  • The date you decline an offer of work, or
  • The date you reach age 65.

Your employer may be penalized if the WSIB determines, following a warning and appropriate notices, that they are not fulfilling their re-employment obligation. The WSIB may:

  • Issue a re-employment penalty to your employer not exceeding your net average earnings for the year preceding the injury/illness, and
  • Make re-employment payments to you or pay you loss of earnings (LOE) benefits for a maximum of one year.

For additional information on re-employment obligations and penalties for Construction Sector employers, read the following policies or contact your Case Manager.

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