Effective date: February 1, 2012
Application: Injured workers, employers and WCB staff.
Policy subject: Allowance and expenses
To remove communication barriers with non-English speaking workers and employers.
Translation is defined as accurate written, oral or visual rendition in one language of what is expressed in another language.
- In February 2008, the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC) National Compensation and Benefits Committee proposed a number of principles for each Canadian jurisdiction to follow when addressing how to provide workers’ compensation to migrant workers. These principles were endorsed by the AWCBC Executive Committee.
- The following procedure will adhere to the AWCBC principle of allowing all injured workers access to translation services. With this procedure, the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) will work to remove communication barriers with all non-English speaking workers and employers (customers).
- The WCB may enter into an agreement with an external translation service provider. The terms and conditions of the agreement should take precedence over the translation services guidelines noted below.
- All workers as defined by Section 2(1)(ii) and employers as defined by Section 2(1)(l) of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”) are entitled to and will be provided free translation services where a communication barrier exists between the customer and the WCB. The exception being where the worker voluntarily relocates out of Canada, the cost of translation services necessary for the management of the claim, regardless of whether the WCB makes arrangements, will be the responsibility of the worker (POL 07/2007, Voluntary Relocation Outside Canada).
- Translation services required by customers may be provided by internal WCB staff fluent in the customer’s language. Where WCB staff are unable to provide appropriate translation services, the WCB will arrange for external translation services. The type of services arranged by the WCB will be dependent on the requirements of the customer (e.g., written, oral or visual translation).
- Where required, WCB staff may arrange for a customer to be accompanied by a translator when attending an appointment at a medical treatment facility or with a health care provider.
- Where the customer prefers to provide their own translator (e.g., family member), and the translator has a salary loss due to attendance, the translator may be reimbursed on the basis of actual salary loss at a rate not to exceed the maximum wage rate (as defined by Section 37 of the Act).
- Travel and sustenance expenses that result from the translator’s attendance will be reimbursed in accordance with PRO 01/2019, Travel Expense Rates. No additional recognition for translation services will be provided.
- Since translators will participate in the exchange of personal information, translators (other than internal WCB staff) may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement where necessary.