Fair Practices Office
The mandate of the WorkSafeBC Fair Practices Office (previously the WorkSafeBC Complaints Office) is to deal with complaints of alleged unfairness in the application of the Workers Compensation Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, policy, practice, and procedure.
The mission of the office is to provide impartial assistance to workers, employers, and other stakeholders.
What we do
The Fair Practices Office deals with fairness concerns about service and treatment provided by WorkSafeBC. The jurisdiction of the Fair Practices Office includes diverse issues in areas such as compensation, employer assessments, occupational health and safety, and the implementation of review/appeal decisions. The office can work with you to resolve alleged unfairness relating to:
- A WorkSafeBC decision or recommendation
- An act done or omitted by WorkSafeBC
- A procedure, practice, or regulation used by WorkSafeBC
As the third step in the Vendor Complaint Review Process (VCRP) (PDF 72kb), the Fair Practices Office will investigate a complaint from a vendor about a bid process conducted by WorkSafeBC.
What we cannot do
- Accept referrals through WorkSafeBC staff
- Address complaints about the Workers Compensation Act
- Advise on issues under review or appeal or involving the right to review or appeal (this includes issues involving an administrative or judicial remedy provided for in the Workers Compensation Act)
- Make, change, or set aside a law, policy, or administrative decision of other officers of WorkSafeBC or administrative tribunals
- Make entitlement decisions or determine rights or obligations
- Address issues arising under a collective bargaining agreement
Although part of WorkSafeBC, the Fair Practices Office operates as an independent entity, offering impartial assistance to its customers. If you have a WorkSafeBC-related concern, the office can:
- Advise you on how the WorkSafeBC system works and how outstanding issues
might be resolved
- Help you reach the individual authorized to deal directly with a particular
- Offer impartial recommendations on issues relating to
the workers' compensation system and WorkSafeBC
Although staff in the Fair Practices Office are WorkSafeBC employees, they are designated neutrals. This means they do not side with WorkSafeBC, its employees, the complainant, or any other party. The Fair Practices Office is neither a level of review or appeal, nor is it intended to replace workers' or employers' access to the review and appeal process.
All employees of the Fair Practices Office adhere to the secrecy provisions outlined in Section 95 of the Workers Compensation Act, and the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Contact with the Fair Practices Office will remain confidential, if requested. This means that if you request confidentiality, the FPO will not release any identifying information about your issue to other areas of WorkSafeBC. When confidentiality is requested, the FPO's ability to resolve your issue may be limited, since it will be unable to communicate key information to the appropriate WorkSafeBC area.
Our service commitment
The Fair Practices Office will:
- Answer phone calls promptly, within three rings, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If all lines are busy, you will receive clear instructions on how to leave a message. We will return all voice mail messages and acknowledge written complaints and inquiries within one working day.
- When your complaint requires the work of a Fair Practices officer, it will be assigned to an officer within three working days of its receipt at the Fair Practices Office.
- For those complaints elevated to a Fair Practices officer, the officer will contact you within two working days from his or her receipt of your complaint.
- Communicate in clear, concise, and simple language.
- Make a reasonable and specific commitment to you about when your questions will be answered or issues resolved. We will keep you informed of the progress of your complaint case.
- Treat you with courtesy and respect, and assist you in a responsive and knowledgeable manner.
- Give you information about law and policy that is clear, reliable, and easy to understand. We will explain how the compensation system works and the role of the Fair Practices Office. If your issue is outside our role, we will direct you to the person or agency who can best handle your concern.
- Where appropriate, we will approach WorkSafeBC to facilitate resolution of the issues. We will help you navigate through the system.
- Deliver services without discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, marital or family status.
- Attempt to provide service in the language of your choice. Extra time may be needed to provide this service.
- Provide multiple points of access including: telephone, fax, mail, and internet.
- Be accessible and available to talk to individuals, organizations, and groups about the role of the Fair Practices Office.