What is Worker's Compensation?
In 1913, William Meredith, who later became Chief Justice of the Ontario Supreme Court, produced a report in which he set out a series of principles. The Meredith Principles are basis of workers' compensation systems in Canada today. They are as follows:
- The liability of employers for injuries in the workplace should be collective, rather than individual, with employers paying into a central fund used to pay benefits to injured workers.
- The benefits payable to injured workers must be guaranteed in the legislation.
- In return for guaranteed compensation, workers have no legal right to sue their employer or co-workers for negligence resulting in a workplace injury. This is the "historic compromise" of the workers' compensation system.
- The workers' compensation system is a no-fault system.
- The system should be administered by a body independent of government with equal representation from labour and industry and a neutral chair.
- The Board must have judicial-like authority for making final decisions on claims for compensation, without an appeal to the courts.