WHAT IS USJE ASKING FOR?
Specifically, USJE is seeking changes to federal and relevant provincial/territorial legislation that does the following:
1. Includes mental health injuries resulting from chronic stress, either tied to operational or organizational stressors in the course of employment.
2. Recognizes that all psychological injuries, including chronic stress resulting from work related activities, are occupational illnesses which can be caused by cumulative as well as single stressful events.
3. Gives the benefit of the doubt to the worker when a claim for compensation has been made, such that workers will not have to prove that the cause of their diagnosed disorder was their work to receive compensation benefits.
4. Limits the rebuttable presumption for any diagnosed psychological injuries for all workers exposed to traumatic events during the course of their employment to very specific ambiguous cases where there is ambiguity about the diagnosis being a major mental disorder, but not with regards to whether the trauma is directly or indirectly impacted by the worker's employment, or concerning the credentials of the professional making the diagnosis.
5. Recognizes and includes under presumptive coverage that work experiences wrap around into events and experiences outside of the work, and that workplace trauma can have direct or indirect implications for experiences of cumulative trauma, acute incidents, and chronic stress that individually and collectively can comprise mental health.
6. Covers mental health injuries that occurred prior to the date of the legislation’s changes.
7. In addition, we urge that relevant governments establish in compensation and health and safety law an employer’s responsibility to develop an integrated and systemic approach to the prevention of stress and psychological injuries. Further, we recommend this approach be grounded in the principles and procedures outlined in the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (CSA, 2013).
**Along with requiring education and various kinds of supports such as debriefing procedures and counselling options, employers in consultation with workers would establish health and safety committees, stakeholder representatives and unions, and primary prevention policies and programs all orientated toward creating healthier workplaces for employees.