On Monday, October 15th the Employers’ Council sent a letter to all MHAs in the province, raising concern with inaccuracies and misleading information presented in the ongoing NAPE advertising campaign, “Let’s Get It Right”, calling for presumptive “workplace mental health legislation”.
Workplace mental health is exceptionally important to employers in this province. The Employers’ Council supported improvements that were made to WorkplaceNL’s mental stress policy in March that significantly improves access to worker’s compensation for all workers who are diagnosed with a mental health injury/illness due to traumatic event(s) in the workplace.
Many issues raised in the NAPE campaign, however, have already been addressed through these March policy changes. NAPEs campaign is using outdated and inaccurate information to push for presumptive legislation for all mental health claims for all workers.
Presumption provides workers compensation benefits without evidence or investigation to ensure a work related cause. Implementing presumptive legislation for all mental stress claims, for all occupations, as is proposed by NAPE, would place the cost of all mental health treatment for the majority of the population on employers through the worker’s compensation system. This would be patently unfair. Workers compensation is a workplace insurance system. Injuries and illnesses that do not arise out of the course of employment are legally non-compensable. Deviations from this principle jeopardize the integrity of the system and all worker benefits.
In response to this letter, NAPE released a press release calling the Employers’ Council’s opposition to presumptive mental health legislation “cold, callous, and dangerous”, but not addressing any of our policy concerns or the inaccuracies in their campaign. The Employers’ Council immediately released the letter to media and have been in the news today highlighting their concerns.
Read the Employers’ Council’s submission to WorkplaceNL’s review of PTSD coverage here.