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Ontario to boost compensation for injured workers by ‘super indexing’ benefits

WELLAND, Ont. — Ontario is planning on boosting benefits for injured workers and improving cancer coverage for firefighters under legislation set to be introduced soon.

The changes would be part of the same upcoming bill that would require employers to disclose salary ranges in job postings, which Labour Minister David Piccini announced earlier this week.

He says the legislation will enable increases to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board benefits to be “super indexed” to a rate above inflation.

The bill would enable the government to set annual increases, and Piccini says if that amount was two per cent, an injured worker who earns $70,000 a year would get an additional $900 annually on top of cost-of-living adjustments, which were 6.5 per cent this year.

The legislation would also allow more firefighters and fire investigators to qualify for WSIB benefits due to esophageal cancer.

Currently, firefighters and fire investigators have to have been on the job for 25 years before esophageal cancer would be considered a work-related illness, and the legislative changes would lower that to 15 years.

Piccini says the province is also launching consultations on introducing a job-protected leave that would match the 26-week length of federal Employment Insurance sickness benefits.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2023.

The Canadian Press