On Sunday, British Columbia went back to the polling stations to cast votes for the provincial election. Though not all ballots have officially been counted, there is no doubt the NDP have won themselves another term in Victoria with John Horgan as the Premier.
With the NDP back in power, what does that mean for employment and jobs in BC? Does much change?
Partner Clay Williams practices Business Law and talks with Ryan Watters, giving his personal perspective on what he expects to see happen in business. He also touches on a new “no fault” system that will be implemented in May 2021 with regards to car accidents. He tells us what it means and how it affects us.
Ryan Watters: On Sunday we went back to the polls and the NDP won themselves another term in Victoria. What does that mean to us, what does that mean for employment? My name is Ryan Watters and this is Clay Williams, a Partner with FH&P Lawyers who practices in, among other things, employment law and it may look a little awkward sitting where we are, but we're trying to do our best with social distancing. So Clay tell me, if anything, with the NDP in power what does it mean for jobs or employment?
Clay Williams: Well I've got my personal predictions and personally I think we're going to see a return to big government and what that means at least my view is you’re going to see a massive build out of the government departments including employment standards and WCB. What that means for the small business I think you're going to have a lot more government to deal with. You’re going to have a lot more people in these departments and you're going to have a lot more enforcement and so WCB is going to continue to hire people and to be built out so I think over the next while there will be a lot more enforcement.
With respect to Employment Standards the government has stated that they are interested in creating a more worker centric workplace and to me that's a code word for more government. So we will see how that impacts businesses but certainly businesses with employees are going to feel it. We will see in the long-term whether that affects businesses decisions to continue to employ people or to hire new people.
Ryan Watters: One of the other things I've heard grumbling about for the NDP is something called “No Fault” what does that mean and how does it affect us?
Clay Willams: So the government has passed legislation that will come into effect on May 1, 2021 implementing a no-fault system for people that are injured in car crashes. So at present we have a system called the CAP system that the government implemented last year where there are caps put on to the amount of pain and suffering damages that a person can get. The government has decided they're going to take that a step further and go completely no fault which eliminates an injured parties right to go to the courts and have an independent arbiter tell them how much they should make or what type of damages they should have. So basically what will be implemented is a WCB system where you'll be getting defined benefits and that’s it. So for a really injured person that means you might have a lifelong relationship with this new ICBC that is providing defined benefits. So why do they call it no-fault? Well they call it no fault because it doesn't matter if you caused the accident or are the injured party in the accident you get the same benefits so the fault is taken out of the equation. So that's another government department or agency that I predict is going to be built out, we're going to see a lot more hires and it'll be interesting to see if the government can maintain their promise to reduce premiums when they've doubled the benefit and are on a hiring spree hiring a bunch of people so we'll see. In any event that is a huge change in basically setting up a whole other WCB in the province.
Ryan Watters: Just more changes and more developments in a weird year that has already seen lots of changes and developments. Clay Williams is a partner here at FH&P, if you have anymore questions about employment law or personal injury give us a call here at FH&P Lawyers in Kelowna or in Penticton.
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