Proposed changes to the Rehabilitation Services & Claims Manual, Volume II

July 18, 2023 | News

WorkSafeBC is requesting feedback for two recommended amendments to the compensation policy for mental disorders in the Rehabilitation Services & Claims Manual, Volume II. These recommendations include revising the definition of “significant stressors” and adding clarifying language to better define the “labour relations exclusion”. These recommendations do not include changes to the Workers Compensation Act, Part 4, Div. 1, Sec. 135

The proposed changes are not expected to affect an employer’s right to discipline, layoffs, demotions, termination, work evaluations, transfers, changes in job duties or working conditions, reorganization, or performance management.  

Summary of the proposed amendment to the definition of “significant stressor”: 

  • Change “significant stressor” to “significant work-related stressor”. 
  • Remove the requirement for significant work stressor to be “unusual”. 
  • Clarify the work-related stressor definition by adding “… whether a reasonable person, in the worker’s situation and with the general characteristics of the worker, would expect to find the event traumatic or the work-related stressor significant.

Summary of clarifying language to the application of the “labour relations exclusions”: 

  • Clarifying that labour relations exclusions are to be applied to the employer’s actual decisions, not to workplace conditions. 
  • Decisions of inclusion are not limited to specific decisions but also consider circumstances. 
  • Would not apply if an employer was persisting on excessive workloads for an extended length of time, acting in bad faith, abusive, threatening or misusing managerial authority. 


These changes may increase the number of mental disorder claims filed and accepted. Click here to view the proposed changes and offer feedback directly to WorkSafeBC – deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 6. If you would prefer to send your feedback to SafeCare BC for our collated submission, please send your feedback to no later than Friday, September 29. 

Looking for mental health support beyond your own employee assistance program or have questions about supporting your team?  Check out Care for Caregivers/Care to Speak or reach out to our Workplace Psychological Health and Safety Coach: