What is the extent and nature of claim suppression in British Columbia?
Reasons for the study
Claim suppression undermines confidence in the workers' compensation system. For workers who lose out on benefits, claim suppression is plainly unfair. Claim suppression by a small minority of employers confers an unfair competitive advantage and penalizes the vast majority of employers that fulfil their legal responsibilities. Claim suppression also distorts experience rating by corroding the empirical basis for rate determination. It is therefore important to the integrity of a public compensation system that claim suppression be identified and curtailed.
There are, however, no data on the incidence of claim suppression in British Columbia, nor are there data to guide enforcement measures. This project, a collaboration between the Institute for Work & Health and Prism Economics and Analysis, addressed this gap.
Objectives of the study
- Estimate the nature and approximate extent of claim suppression in the B.C. workers’ compensation system
The results of the research may be useful to WorkSafeBC in determining whether any policy changes may be warranted regarding claim suppression, and they will also be of interest to stakeholders involved in workers’ compensation issues in British Columbia and beyond, including employers, employer associations, unions and injured workers groups.
Related scientific publications
- Saunders R, O'Grady J, Cardoso S. Estimates of the nature and extent of claim suppression in British Columbia’s workers' compensation system. Institute for Work & Health; 2020.
Related interviews and articles
- What research can do: Following reports by IWH and others, B.C. strengthens protections against claim suppression. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 113, Summer 2023.
- Unreported job injuries: ‘The elephant in the workplace’. The Tyee. June 14, 2022. Available from: https://thetyee.ca/News/2022/06/14/Unreported-Job-Injuries/
- Less than half of injured workers submit comp claims: Report. Canadian Occupational Safety. December 8, 2021. Available from: https://www.thesafetymag.com/ca/topics/injuries-and-fatalities/less-than-half-of-injured-workers-submit-comp-claims-report/319280
- Health researchers dig into B.C. injury claims. Journal of Commerce. July 12, 2021. Available from: https://canada.constructconnect.com/joc/news/ohs/2021/07/health-researchers-dig-into-b-c-injury-claims
- Claim suppression study in B.C. finds under-claiming of work injury to be common. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 104, Spring 2021.
Related research summaries
- Nature and extent of claim suppression in B.C.’s workers’ compensation system. Issue Briefing: Institute for Work & Health, May 2021.
Collaborators and partners
Prism Economics and Analysis