Federal Government Employees and Employers

If you are a federal government employee or employer, the Government Employees Compensation Act guarantees your rights and defines your responsibilities under the law.

The Labour Program relies on provincial workers' compensation boards and commissions to process federal government employee claims and provide compensation for expenses such as medical and rehabilitation costs and loss of earnings. The Labour Program then reimburses the provinces for related costs. Federal government employees therefore receive the same level of compensation and benefits as other employees in the province where they work.

If you live in Nunavut, the Yukon or the Northwest Territories, the province of Alberta will handle your claim. If you're a Canadian working for the federal government abroad, in most cases Ontario will process your claim.

Ultimately, federal government employers cover the cost of these services.

If you are a federal government employee and are injured while on the job or become ill because of your work, you may be entitled to compensation for expenses such as lost earnings, medical care and rehabilitation costs. You may also be eligible for other benefits during your time of need. If your accident or illness leads to death, your dependants may be entitled to compensation and benefits.

If you are a federal government employer, the Act outlines your responsibilities to your employees. Learn more about handling compensation issues and procedures when one of your employees gets hurt.

Additional information can be found in these publications:

Federal Government Employees

Regardless of rank or salary level, the Government Employees' Compensation Act covers:

  • all federal government employees, whether working in Canada or overseas;
  • most Crown agency staff; and
  • employees of the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament, Office of the Senate Ethics Officer and the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

Your Rights

As an employee covered by the Government Employees' Compensation Act, you have the right:

  • to choose your own doctor;
  • to compensation for employment-related injury and occupational disease in accordance with the rates and conditions provided under the law of the province where you work;
  • to assistance to help you get back to work and overcome handicaps related to your injury or disease; and
  • to request an impartial investigation by your provincial compensation board if you disagree with the description of the accident provided to the board.

In the case of an employee's work-related death, dependants may be entitled to receive appropriate benefits and compensation on the employee's behalf.

Your Responsibilities

If you are injured, report the accident to your employer. Your employer will submit a claim for compensation to the Labour Program Federal Workers Compensation Service, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

A successful claim depends on you and your employer. You have a responsibility to work with your employer, ESDC's Federal Workers Compensation Service and the appropriate provincial workers' compensation authority as they submit and process your claim for compensation.

  • Tell your supervisor immediately about any accident you have at work, even a minor one.
  • Quickly seek first aid to minimize the effects of the injury.
  • If you have to seek medical treatment outside of working hours, notify your employer immediately when you return to work, as soon as possible if you are unable to return to work.
  • Provide your employer and authorities with as much detailed information about the accident or illness as you can; it all helps to support your claim.
  • Work with your employer to file a compensation claim.
  • Work closely with your claims officer and pay close attention to all instructions and guidelines. Make sure you attend and keep a record of all medical appointments and treatment programs recommended by your doctor and the officials responsible for managing your claim.

Appeals

If you disagree with the ruling made on a compensation claim, you can discuss the decision with claim officials. You also have the right to file an appeal. Either the employee or the employer can appeal a board decision. The appeal should introduce new or additional evidence, usually medical evidence.

Claims and appeals are handled by the province in which the employee usually works. This may not be the province where the accident took place or the employee's home province. Being familiar with the appropriate provincial workers' compensation legislation will help you decide the best steps to take.

Third-Party Claims

If your injury is caused by a third party—someone who is neither your employer nor a federal co-worker—you (or your dependants) can make one of two choices: you can claim compensation under the Government Employees' Compensation Act or sue the third party for damages. You cannot do both. You (or your dependants) have three months after the accident to make this decision.

If you choose to sue the third party and a court decision is rendered, or if you agree to an out-of-court settlement (with the Minister of Labour's approval) which is less than the compensation you would normally have received under the Act, then you may be entitled to receive the difference between the two amounts.

If you choose to claim compensation, the Government of Canada may take legal action in your name against the third party. By electing compensation, you have subrogated to the Government of Canada your right to make a claim against that third party. If the Government of Canada, in pursuing the action, recovers more than the costs of the claim (including the costs of pursuing the action) you may be entitled to an excess payment.

Prevention

Prevention is always the best strategy. Being aware of workplace hazards and proper safety procedures reduces the risk of accidents and injuries. Learn about your workplace occupational health and safety guidelines and processes, and find out more about federal health and safety programs.

The Canada Labour Code regulates the safety and health of every worker under federal jurisdiction and in the federal public service. Become familiar with these guidelines and what you can do to help prevent accidents and injuries.

Federal Government Employers

Compensation for occupational injuries and diseases is an employee's right, not a privilege. Employers are responsible for protecting and enforcing this right by working with federal and provincial authorities to make sure that claims are processed quickly and properly.

Once an employer reports a workplace injury involving medical attention or lost time, the Labour Program reviews the claim and determines whether the employer is covered under the Government Employees Compensation Act. The appropriate provincial workers' compensation authority then officially assesses the claim.

All costs related to workers' compensation claims made under the Government Employees Compensation Act are subject to a cost recovery program. This program applies to all federal departments and Crown corporations.

Employers can also refer to the Employers' Guide to the Government Employees Compensation Act for detailed instructions on how to process claims quickly and efficiently on behalf of employees.

Your Responsibilities

As a federal government employer, you must provide all of your employees with a safe work environment and deal with accidents in a timely and organized way. You should also be aware of your responsibilities before an accident happens.

  • You must establish and communicate appropriate departmental procedures for addressing occupational injuries and diseases.
  • You must guarantee that injured employees receive immediate medical attention.
  • Within three days, you must report all occupational injuries or illnesses requiring medical care beyond first aid or resulting in lost time, sending the correct provincial compensation form to the Labour Program Federal Workers Compensation Service. This federal unit checks the claim, determines and actions potential third-party involvement, and forwards it to the appropriate provincial workers' compensation authority.
  • You must provide complete details about the accident and the nature of the injury on the compensation form, and attach any additional information relevant to the accident.
  • You must submit the employee version of an accident account (and your comments on the situation if you don't agree with this version of events).
  • You must ensure that all compensation forms are signed by the foreperson, supervisor or other responsible person in charge who has first-hand knowledge of the incident.
  • You must submit duplicate copies of the original signed compensation form and subsequent employer's reports to the Labour Program Federal Workers Compensation Service.
  • You must manage compensation claims by:
    • keeping a record of all actions taken on the claims;
    • maintaining contact with the injured employees and the claims adjudicators; and
    • contributing to a safe and early return-to-work program, including accommodating the employee or modifying duties as appropriate.
  • You must maintain an accurate record of all minor injuries requiring only first aid and keep these records in the workplace for two years. (You do not, however, need to send these to the Labour Program or provincial authorities.)

Appeals under Provincial Workers' Compensation Boards

If you disagree with the ruling made on a claim that you submitted on behalf of an employee, you have the right to appeal the decision to the appropriate provincial compensation board.

Either the employee or the employer can appeal a board decision. The appeal should introduce new or additional evidence, usually medical evidence.

Being familiar with the appropriate provincial workers' compensation legislation will help you decide the best steps to take. Claims are handled by the province in which the employee usually works and not necessarily the province where the accident took place or the employee's home province.

Prevention

Prevention is always the best strategy. Being aware of workplace hazards and proper safety procedures reduces the risk of accidents and injuries and helps keep everyone's costs down.

Employers have an obligation to develop, implement and monitor occupational safety and health in the workplace in accordance with the Canada Labour Code. The Code regulates the health and safety of every worker under federal jurisdiction and in the federal public service.

More information about accident prevention and federal safety programs can be found in the Labour Program's Health and Safety section.

Disability Management

A disability management or return-to-work program can help employees with injuries, illnesses or disabilities return to work in a safe and timely way. These programs can help minimize the effects of a disability and maintain the employee's self-esteem and dignity.
Employers should make every reasonable effort to modify duties or make other accommodations in the workplace for employees who are temporarily or permanently unable to return to their regular work.

iNICS Claims Data

The Labour Program offers Web-based software that lets federal employers track and analyze compensation claims data. The Internet National Injury Compensation System (iNICS) provides employers with information about their workers' compensation claims. This service is available to federal departments, Crown corporations and agencies covered under the Government Employees Compensation Act. Federal employers can analyze their own data (types of claims, injury dates and related costs, etc.) and use it to generate statistics and reports.

The iNICS software is available through the Federal Workers' Compensation Service. For more information about this service and how to register, you can contact the Labour Program.

If you don't find what you're looking for in these pages, you can contact us directly.

Workers' Compensation Offices

All claims under the Government Employees Compensation Act, for employees engaged outside Canada and all claims under the Public Service Benefit Plan, the Merchant Seamen Compensation Act and the Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations can be submitted by mail to:

Federal Workers Compensation Services,
Claims Operations Unit,
165 Hotel-de-Ville
Phase II, 9th Floor (L911)
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0J2

Claims can also be submitted by email through the appropriate regional email address in which the federal worker is employed:

Atlantic Region (includes New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island)

Québec

Ontario

Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Western Canada (includes Alberta, British Columbia, Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories)

Enquiries regarding these claims can be made by contacting the Federal Workers’ Compensation Office:

Tel.: 1-855-535-7299
Fax: (819) 934-6590