The Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT or Tribunal) hosted a Stakeholder Event on September 28, 2022. At the event, the following topics were covered, with details provided within this article:
- Productivity Highlights
- Process and Practice Updates
- Noteworthy Decisions Highlights
- E-File and E-Share Updates
- Selected Questions and Answers Raised During the Session
As a point of interest, the Tribunal Chair advised that the owner of the Tribunal’s Toronto location (505 University) has applied for a demolition permit and has submitted a plan to build a multi-use skyscraper. The Chair advised that this is a multi-step approval process, and stakeholders will be kept apprised of developments. There is no immediate impact on the Tribunal’s operations and no impact is expected for the next two years.
The volume of appeals at the Tribunal through August 2022 is below the volume seen for the same period in 2021. There are currently fewer than 4,000 active appeals working their way through the Tribunal, which meets the Tribunal’s target for active appeals. The time to first hearing is currently 4.5 months, which is a 37% decrease in wait time from August 2021. The median length of time to close an appeal is 12.5 months, which is a 22% decrease over the same period in 2021.
To the end of August 2022, there had been 1,388 hearings and 1,302 decisions issued in the year. Of these decisions, 89% were released within 120 days. Of appeals heard in 2022, 32% of appeals were written, while 68% were oral, and these statistics are aligned with the Tribunal’s historical average of approximately 30% written and 70% oral hearings.
The Tribunal continues to very few in-person hearings. Most oral hearings are still being heard by either teleconference or videoconference, and there continues to be increased interest in videoconference.
It was noted that the Tribunal has been seeing an increase in adjournment requests. This continues to be a concern for the Tribunal. Last minute adjournments leave unused hearing times and waste Tribunal resources. While some late adjournments will always be unavoidable, the Tribunal reminded representatives to be prepared for hearing dates and do whatever they could to avoid requests for last minute adjournments.
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