Locally-engaged employees outside Canada
From: Employment and Social Development Canada
These employees are usually foreign citizens hired in their own countries by the federal government to provide support services in Canadian offices overseas, such as embassies and consulates.
Locally-engaged employees are either covered for workers' compensation in their respective country or may be covered under section 7 of the Government Employees Compensation Act, administered directly by the Labour Program.
- If you are a locally-engaged employee injured on the job or suffering from a workplace illness, you may be eligible for compensation. You should report any workplace accident or illness to your employer, who is responsible for completing an accident report.
- If you are a federal government employer who hires locally-engaged employees, you can learn more about handling compensation issues and procedures if one of your employees gets hurt at work or suffers from a work-related illness.
Information for employees
If you are a locally-engaged employee in accordance with the Treasury Board Workers' Compensation guidelines and the Government of Canada pays into a local workers' compensation program, you and your employer should send your claim application to that local office. If no local program exists or the Canadian Government does not contribute to the local program, you can apply for compensation under section 7 of the Government Employees Compensation Act using the Worker’s Report of Injury form.
The Federal Workers' Compensation Service of Employment and Social Development Canada evaluates claim applications and awards compensation.
As a locally-engaged employee not covered under a local workers' compensation program while employed with the Canadian government, you have the right to receive compensation for employment-related injury and disease under the Government Employees Compensation Act.
You have the right to:
- receive compensation, which may include: loss of earnings; medical, hospital and related services; rehabilitation services; and a lump sum or a pension if you have a permanent disability. If an accident leads to death, your dependents may be eligible to receive compensation
- obtain assistance to help you get back to work and overcome handicaps related to your injury or disease
- provide your recollection of the accident along with your employer's description of how your injury occurred, and
- choose your own doctor
You play an important role in supporting your employer when they submit your claim for compensation. Like other Canadian federal government employees, you must do the following:
- immediately tell your supervisor about any work-related accident or illness you have at work, even a minor one
- quickly seek first aid to minimize the effects of the injury or the illness
- if you have to seek medical treatment outside of working hours, notify your employer immediately when you return to work. If you are unable to return to work, notifying your employer of this as soon as possible
- 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 Labour Program officials
If your injury is caused by a third party—neither caused by your employer nor a federal co-worker—you (or your dependents) can make one of 2 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 dependents, have 3 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 receive under the Act—then you may be entitled to receive the difference between the 2 amounts.
If you choose to claim compensation, the Crown may take legal action in your name against the third party. By electing compensation, you have subrogated to the Crown your right to make a claim against that third party. If the Crown, 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 is always the best strategy. Awareness of workplace hazards and proper safety procedures reduces the risk of accidents and injuries. Learn about your workplace occupational guidelines and processes, and find out more about federal health and safety programs related to prevention on the Labour Program's website.
The Canada Labour Code regulates the safety and health of every worker under federal jurisdiction and in the federal public service. Understand these guidelines and what you can do to help prevent accidents and injuries.
Information for employers
As with any other federal employer, employers of locally-engaged employees outside Canada must protect their employees' right to receive compensation for occupational injuries and diseases. If there is no local workers' compensation plan available, or if the Canadian government does not contribute to the local plan, you should report any workplace injury or illness involving medical attention or lost time to the Federal Workers' Compensation Service at Employment and Social Development Canada. It determines whether the employee is covered under the Government Employees Compensation Act, reviews the claim and awards compensation, to be paid by the employer, according to the Workers' Compensation Cost Recovery Program.
Below, the Labour Program provides information and advice to help you process claims for compensation quickly and efficiently on behalf of your employees.
Government employees can work in a variety of places and situations: in Canada or abroad, in an office or in the field. The Government Employees Compensation Act applies to all federal government employees, including locally-engaged employees.
Even though these employees don't work in Canada, as a federal government employer you must provide them with a safe work environment and deal with accidents in a timely and organized way. You have the same responsibilities under the Government Employees Compensation Act as other employers.
Ultimately, you must do the following:
- establish and communicate appropriate procedures to deal with occupational injuries and diseases wherever your employees work.
- Guarantee that injured employees receive immediate medical attention. Arrange transportation if an injured employee needs to go to a hospital or medical facility.
- within 3 days, report all occupational injuries or illnesses requiring medical care beyond first aid or resulting in lost time.
- provide complete details about any accident and the nature of the injury or the illness on the Employer's Report of Injury Form. Submit the Worker’s Report of Injury Form (and your comments on the situation if you do not agree). Ensure that all compensation forms are signed by the foreperson, supervisor or person in charge who has first-hand knowledge of the accident
- maintain an accurate record of all minor injuries requiring only first aid and keep these records in the workplace for 2 years. (You do not, however, need to send these to the Labour Program.)
- if you do not contribute to a local workers' compensation fund, you should report injuries and send compensation claims to the Federal Workers' Compensation Service of Employment and Social Development Canada in Gatineau. We will determine whether a particular claim is covered under the Government Employees Compensation Act, review the claim and award compensation (to be paid, ultimately, by the employer) according to the Workers' Compensation Cost Recovery Program
Prevention is always the best strategy. Awareness 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 on the Prevention webpage of the Labour Program's health and safety section.
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.
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