December 18, 2019
Committee Established to Review Workplace Compensation System
The Provincial Government today announced the beginning of the statutory review of the workers’ compensation system as required under the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act. The review provides an opportunity for residents of the province to participate in the process, which leads to improvements in operations and client services.
In keeping with past reviews, a committee representing key stakeholders has been appointed to oversee the process. Judy Morrow, a lawyer in private practice, has been appointed Chair of the Statutory Review Committee. Bernadette Coffey-Sobol, a workers’ compensation and benefits administration officer with NAPE, has been appointed Vice-Chair and employee representative. Leonard Knox, a major projects manager, has been appointed employer representative. Biographical information on the committee members is listed in the backgrounder below.
The statutory review process is essential to maintaining a strong workers’ compensation system. The scope of work for the 2019 statutory review aligns with the following themes: efficiencies in the review process; equity in the provision of benefits; and financial sustainability.
Further details on the consultations will be announced by the Statutory Review Committee in the new year.
“The review is a valuable opportunity to focus public and stakeholder attention on specific workers’ compensation matters and opportunities. Having the scope of work developed in advance, along with having the committee in place, will help ensure the timeliness of the review.”
Minister Responsible for WorkplaceNL
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Bernadette Coffey-Sobol has an extensive background as an employee representative. For ten years she was Chief Shop Steward for the Department of Justice where she monitored union grievances, provided direction and advice on collective agreements to other shop stewards, and worked with Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) in negotiating grievance settlements. Ms. Coffey-Sobol also participated on the RNC Respectful Workplace Planning Committee as a major stakeholder and spent over four years advocating for injured workers in her role as a Workers' Advisor at the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour. Presently, she advocates for all NAPE members as a Workers’ Compensation, Benefits and Accommodations Officer.
Leonard Knox has over 40 years of experience in the construction industry. He is a graduate of Memorial University’s Bachelor of Civil Engineering, a registered professional engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador, and a Canadian Construction Association Gold Seal Certified professional. In 1993, he joined H.J. O’Connell having already accumulated over 15 years’ experience in his field. Mr. Knox retired from the positon of Senior Vice-President of H.J. O’Connell in 2017.
Judy Morrow, Q.C.
Judy Morrow graduated from Dalhousie law school in 1985 and, in 1986, was called to the Bar in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 1989, Ms. Morrow helped establish the law firm, which is now Morrow, Morrow and Crosbie. In March 2017, she was appointed as Queen’s Counsel. Ms. Morrow has assisted on a variety of community organizations and boards during her career including Chief Adjudicator for the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission, Vice-Chairperson/Secretary of the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission, as well as Chairperson of its Appeal Board.
2019 12 18 2:35 p.m.