In 2010, the Trustees of the Plan became aware that the Canada Labour Code requires employers to make contributions to the Plan for employees who are off work due to illness or injury. The Trustees subsequently amended the Plan to clarify these requirements.
We are now aware that employers are required to make contributions to the Plan in the following circumstances:
(1) Absence due to a non-work related injury or illness
Eligibility for Contributions:
3 months service: The employee must have completed 3 consecutive months of continuous employment by one or more participating employers. Continuous employment is not cut off when service is interrupted by periods of vacation, illness, maternity leave, reasonable layoff, work stoppages or other leaves of absence where it is intended that the employment contract will continue upon the employee's return.
Evidence of illness or injury: Upon written request, the employee must be able to provide either
(i) a certificate of a qualified medical practitioner certifying that he or she was incapable of working due to illness or injury during his or her absence from work or
(ii) evidence that he or she received disability benefits from the B.C. Marine Industry Employee Health Benefit Plan during his or her absence from work.
Required Employer Contributions
Where the employee meets the above eligibility requirements, the employer is required to make contributions to the Plan on his or her behalf for a maximum period of 17 weeks.
(2) Absence due to a work related injury or illness
Eligibility for Contributions
Workers compensation benefits: The employee must have received workers compensation benefits for the injury or illness due to which he or she was absent.
Required Employer Contributions
Where the employee meets the above eligibility requirements, the employer is required to make contributions on his or her behalf to the Plan for the entire period of absence during which the employee is receiving the workers compensation benefits. Note that if the employee remains off work after the workers compensation benefits cease, the employer is not required to make contributions to the Plan on the employee's behalf.
These requirements apply to all qualifying absences since June 23, 1993, the date that the current Canada Labour Code requirements came into effect.
We have written to all participating employers, notifying them of these requirements. Employers have been asked to review their records and remit any missed contributions to the Plan on behalf of members who were absent due to illness or injury as discussed above, dating back to November 1, 2007. We have requested that employers make these payments to the Plan by August 30, 2013.
For qualifying absences prior to this date, we are seeking your assistance in identifying any contributions that may be owing to the Plan. Therefore, if you are aware of any periods of absence in which you were eligible to have contributions made on your behalf and your employer might not have made the contributions, please contact:
160-4400 Dominion Street
Burnaby, B.C. V5G 4G3
(604) 299 7482 (Ext. 330) or
Toll Free: 1 800 663 1356
Additionally, different requirements apply for absences during the period from March 1, 1985 to June 22, 1993. If you were absent due to illness or injury during this period please contact us and we will look into your contribution entitlements.