Dec. 4, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswick firefighters and police officers would be exempted in future from provisions concerning the three-day waiting period in the Workers' Compensation Act. An amendment to the act is designed to recognize the risks faced by firefighters and police officers when they respond to emergency situations.
The Workers' Compensation Act contains provisions setting out a three-day waiting period before compensation is paid to an injured worker in specific situations. The waiting period currently applies to all categories of workers.
Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Donald Arseneault said that government knows that unlike workers in other occupations, firefighters and police officers are exposed to high-risk situations on a daily basis.
"When our police officers and firefighters are on the job, they are exposed to dangers that put their lives at risk," said Arseneault. "They have the training and authority to expertly carry out their duties, which are to serve and protect the public. We count on their courage and expertise every day. With this amendment to the Workers' Compensation Act, we want to show them our profound gratitude."
"I am very pleased to support these changes to the Workers' Compensation Act," said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General John Foran. "This is a significant recognition of the important work done by our police officers and firefighters."
The amendment to the act will apply to nearly 470 active police officers, and almost 4,800 full-time and volunteer firefighters working in New Brunswick.
MEDIA CONTACT: Thomas Lizotte, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-8617.