Policy feedback and the direction of workers' compensation policy in Ontario

Principal Investigator: Alina Gildiner

This project seeks to expand knowledge of how the creation of policy occurs within the workers' compensation system and what constraints or possibilities exist for future policy. The core premise is that policy decision making does not arise de novo, nor on a fully rational basis. Rather, it is shaped by legacies and feedback effects from prior decisions that close off some options, channel decision makers towards others and sometimes create unintended consequences.

The project will focus on the ways in which policy decisions, at successive points over the two decades, have shaped subsequent decisions in the Ontario workers' compensation system. Analysis of documentary evidence from the public record will identify stakeholders involved in the decision-making process, their positions, how the agenda was framed, what options were considered and what prompted the eventual choice. Interviews with key informants will help triangulate interpretations from initial documentary analysis to test theories of factors that hold the most salience.

The knowledge generated by this project will be instrumental for effective lobbying of system change by injured workers and community groups.

Legislation policies, programs & practices

Phase 1 Projects

The adequacy of workers' compensation benefits

Extension of Workplace Safety & Insurance Board Front Line Study

Interaction between workers' compensation and other disability income and support programs

Legal and academic concepts of disability

Lived versus statutory versions of work injury and compensation

Medical evaluation and its consequences

Policy feedback and the direction of workers' compensation policy in Ontario