Union Representative

The WAO provides workers, their dependants and other stakeholders with independent advice, assistance, representation, training and mentoring with respect to workers' compensation issues.

Need Help? A Worker Adviser can:

  • Help you understand the Workers Compensation Act and WorkSafeBC's policies and procedures
  • Provide you with information regarding your injured worker's claim
  • Provide training and mentoring to improve understanding of the workers’ compensation system and promote a culture of meritorious representation of issues
  • Help you with a Request for Review at the Review Division or an Appeal at the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal regarding a WorkSafeBC decision

Start a new inquiry with us if:

  • You would like advice or assistance on a potential appeal for one of your injured workers
  • WorkSafeBC refused or failed to provide your injured worker with a decision on an issue of entitlement under the Workers Compensation Act
  • Your injured worker received a decision from WorkSafeBC about an injury claim for compensation but disagree with the decision
  • Your injured worker's employment or membership in a union was terminated from raising a health and safety concern and you are thinking of filing a Prohibited Action Complaint with Worksafe BC
  • WorkSafeBC declined to accept your injured worker's complaint, form 57W1, for Prohibited Action under sections 47 and 48 of the Workers Compensation Act
  • You need advice on a prevention matter involving an administrative penalty against an employer, an order issued against your injured worker, or, an inspection report

Workers’ Compensation Advocacy Training

We offer workers’ compensation advocacy training to improve understanding of the workers’ compensation system and promote a culture of meritorious representation of issues.  These sessions are held for labour representatives and others who represent injured workers with their WorkSafeBC claims. 

For a list of courses, to register, or to request a on-site custom course please see our Workers' Compensation Advocacy Training page.

Compensation Clinics

Once a month, we host a Compensation Clinics intended to enhance participants’ working knowledge about workers' compensation, prohibited action complaints, occupational health and safety complaints, and strategies and alternatives to appeals. 

Clinics are scheduled from September through June on the third Tuesday of every month. For more information or to register see our Compensation Clinics page.

WCAT’s Manual of Rules of Practice and Procedure (MRPP) includes a Code of Conduct for Representatives to provide guidance to representatives, setting out minimum standards of behaviour (see 24.20 of the MRPP). The following is a summary of WCAT’s Code of Conduct.

1. A representative must not put forward any information if he or she knows it is not true and must not knowingly assist or encourage a worker to be dishonest or misrepresent the facts.

2. A representative must be prepared. This includes being familiar with the worker’s WSBC file and the relevant law, policy and precedent decisions.

3. The representative must obtain authorization from the worker to act on the worker’s behalf. The representative must ensure that the worker knows ahead of time what the representative is going to do and approves of what the representative is going to do.

4. A representative must observe the tribunal’s rules, practices and procedures. In particular, the representative must know what the deadlines are for presenting submissions and scheduling hearings. The representative must be able to provide information or submissions on or before the deadline or find another representative (acceptable to the worker) who can.

5. A representative must behave courteously and respectfully to tribunal staff and panel members, witnesses (if they are present) and the employer and employer’s representative. The representative must also instruct the worker and the worker’s witnesses to behave courteously and respectfully.

6. A representative must notify the tribunal of any concerns about bias by the person making the decision. This should be done as soon as possible and preferably before the hearing. Allegations of bias should not be made frivolously.

7. A representative must respect the confidentiality of information disclosed during a hearing and not use the information for any other purpose without the consent of the tribunal and all interested parties. Content for Union Representative Appealing WSBC Decisions: A Worker’s Information Kit 6

8. A representative should not attempt to contact a decision-maker directly, unless invited to do so. communication with a decision maker outside the hearing process must be through the registrar's office.