Manitoba to expand WCB coverage

Province has lowest coverage rates: Labour minister

More workers in Manitoba will soon be covered by workers' compensation.

The provincial government is reviewing the Workers' Compensation Board's (WCB) three-year plan to modernize employee protection and over the next few months it will determine which additional industries and professions will be covered.

Compared to the rest of the country, Manitoba has the lowest rates of coverage, according to Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan. Cost and the availability of company or private insurance plans are the most common arguments against extending coverage to some professions.

About 70 per cent of the province's workforce is covered by workers' compensation, while British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut all have more than 90 per cent coverage.

Before making any decisions, Allan will meet with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Bankers' Association.

Professions/industries that may be covered

• accounting;

• advertising and marketing;

• animal services (kennels or stables);

• athletes;

• entertainers;

• auctioneers;

• audiovisual and multimedia production;

• banking;

• beekeeping;

• brokers and sales agents;

• business consultants;

• call centre workers;

• day camp or trailer park workers;

• cemetery workers;

• collection agencies;

• charities;

• consulates and embassies;

• domestic workers;

• driving schools;

• politicians;

• employment agencies;

• farms;

• flea markets;

• fitness or spa workers;

• greenhouses;

• hatcheries;

• graphic designers;

• health care services;

• legal services;

• museum and galleries;

• hairdressers;

• wedding planners;

• hypnotists;

• personal chefs;

• portrait photographers;

• private investigators;

• travel agencies;

• unions;

• real estate agents;

• religious organizations (excluding clergy); and

• exterminators.

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