BILL NO. 204
2nd Session, 63rd General Assembly
68 Elizabeth II, 2019
Workers' Compensation Act
The Honourable Labi Kousoulis
Minister of Labour and Advanced Education
First Reading: October 17, 2019
Second Reading: October 22, 2019
Third Reading: October 30, 2019 (LINK TO BILL AS PASSED)
Clause 1 amends the definition of "worker" to reflect that volunteer firefighters included in the definition will be no longer subject to an admission process under the Workers' Compensation Act.
(a) mandates extension of full coverage under the Act to volunteer firefighters; and
(b) removes the process by which municipalities had to apply to the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia for admission of firefighters into the workers' compensation system.
(a) extends presumptions that certain diseases are occupational diseases to firefighters employed by the Department of National Defence;
(b) allows the Governor in Council to make regulations prescribing conditions or restrictions on the availability of the presumption for a particular disease prescribed by the regulations;
(c) limits the retrospective application of the presumption for a disease added by the regulations to one year after the disease is added; and
(d) removes the application of the current limitation period for providing notice to the employer and filing a claim in relation to an occupational disease prescribed by the regulations after this provision comes into force for firefighters who learned of the disease before the presumption takes effect and substitutes a 12-month period for giving notice and filing a claim.
(a) requires a firefighter who suffers from a disease prescribed by the regulations on or after the date this Bill comes into force for whom a presumption has been made to provide notice to the employer and file the claim within 12 months after the regulations are made; and
(b) bars compensation where a claim has not been made within five years after the presumption respecting the disease was added to the regulations.
Clause 5 provides that the Act comes into force one year after it receives Royal Assent.
1 Subclause 2(ae)(v) of Chapter 10 of the Acts of 1994-95, the Workers' Compensation Act, is repealed and the following subclause substituted:
- (v) a volunteer firefighter who is a member of a fire department registered by a municipality under Section 294 of the Municipal Government Act or the Halifax Regional Municipality under Section 305 of the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter,
- 5 (1) This Part applies to
(a) the volunteer firefighter members of each fire department that is registered by a municipality under Section 294 of the Municipal Government Act or the Halifax Regional Municipality under Section 305 of the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter; and
(2) For the purpose of this Part, the municipality within whose boundaries a fire department referred to in clause (1)(a) is located and serves is the employer of the volunteer firefighter members of that fire department.
(b) receive a notification, by any means, of a fire or emergency, including the time of travel to the fire station, fire scene or the site of the emergency where they perform duties until, after being released from duty, they return home, to the place where the notification was received, to their place of regular employment or to any place for treatment, refreshment or recreation, whichever they reach first.
(4) The Board shall, by regulation, determine the minimum and maximum earnings of the volunteer firefighter members of the fire department for the purpose of calculating the average earnings of the volunteer firefighters pursuant to subsection (5).
(5) The municipality that is the employer of a volunteer firefighter pursuant to subsection (2) shall choose an amount between the minimum and maximum amounts determined by the Board pursuant to subsection (4) to apply as the average earnings for the volunteer firefighter members of the fire department of which the volunteer firefighters are members.
(a) the number of volunteer firefighter members in each fire department that is registered by the municipality under Section 294 of the Municipal Government Act or Section 305 of the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter; and
- 35A (1) In this Section and Section 35B, "firefighter" means an employee, including officers and technicians, employed by a municipality or the Department of National Defence and assigned exclusively to fire protection and fire prevention duties notwithstanding that those duties may include the performance of ambulance or rescue services, and includes a volunteer firefighter member of a fire department who performs those duties.
(2) Where a worker who is or has been a firefighter suffers an accident that is a cancer or other disease that is prescribed by the Governor in Council by regulation, the accident is presumed to be an occupational disease, the dominant cause of which is the employment or deemed employment as a firefighter, unless the contrary is proven.
(5) For any disease prescribed pursuant to this Section on or after the date this Section comes into force, the presumption in subsection (2) applies only to accidents that happen no sooner than one year before the date the disease is prescribed.
(6) For the purpose of this Section, Section 35B and Section 35C, with respect to an accident referred to in subsection (2) that happens no sooner than one year before the date this Section comes into force,
(2) For any disease prescribed pursuant to Section 35A on or after the date Section 35A comes into force, subsection 83(2) does not apply with respect to a firefighter who learned before the disease was prescribed that the firefighter suffered from the disease.
35C For greater certainty, compensation payable for the period before Section 35A came into force must be calculated in accordance with this Part and not in accordance with the former Act, as defined in Section 225.
4 (1) Section 83 of Chapter 10, as amended by Chapter 16 of the Acts of 2017, is further amended by adding immediately after subsection (2A) the following subsection:
- (2B) The Board shall not pay compensation to any firefighter referred to in subsection 35B(2) unless
- (ba) the date when a disease referred to in subsection (2B) is prescribed for the purpose of subsection 35A(2); or
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