Calgary Town Hall was shot on Wednesday, November 14, 2018. Gavin Young / Postmedia
This will cost the city of Calgary $ 10 million over the next few years to meet its obligations to accommodate sick or injured employees returning to work on new provincial standards.
The Alberta Bill 30, which came into force last year, requires employers to ensure that workers who are sick or injured can return to work as soon as they have recovered.
The new rules set a short deadline for employers: if an employee is not able to perform his / her regular return duties, they should be offered a suitable, alternative job within three days considered fit to return to work.
The city estimates that around 900 staff are to be accommodated each year, and their number has grown over the last four years.
On Tuesday at the Council of Priorities and Financial Committee meeting, the city administration requested $ 10 million to cover expected costs over the next few years.
"We went back to the budgets of the departments, there is not much free money that just hang around to accommodate people," City Governor Jeff Fielding said on Tuesday. – The biggest deviation from senior management is where will this man be? And how will I pay for the return of this person to work? "
The city administration has set an example with a bus driver who is injured and temporarily unable to drive a vehicle: they may not be able to get back to driving immediately, but they may be able to get back to work to collect data on CTrain platforms.
– Work has to be created. We expected in the past to find work that could be opened. Now we can not wait, we have (three) days to get people back to work, "Fielding said. "We will have to create a job and find the budget money. So $ 10 million would support the creation of this work. "
And in case of work as a bus driver, the city also has to bear the cost of filling the vacancy vacated by the injured employee.
The city said the failure to comply with the new housing rules would ultimately be more costly, as the city could accumulate substantial fines and fines from the workers' compensation council.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the new standards may be difficult to implement, but they are better for workers and the city.
"The city (really) wants to figure out ways to keep costs and bring people back to work as soon as possible," said Nenshi. – Because it's the right thing to do for a person instead of making them sit at home. Turn them back, get them to do something meaningful as soon as you can.
"It's a job we have to do anyway."
The $ 10 million Fund must still receive a full vote from the Council for final approval.