The Labour Market Reentry (LMR) system was created in 1998 to help injured workers return to work, and reduce the impact of the injuries on their earning ability. However, the WSIB has not seen the improvements it expected. In the last 12 years, injured workers have been staying off work longer. The WSIB has had growing concerns about this trend because employment is critical to all aspects of the lives of injured workers and their families.
In 2009 KPMG conducted a value for money audit (VFMA) on the LMR program. The audit was conducted under the direction of the office of the Auditor General of Ontario.
In addition to reviewing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the LMR program, this audit compared the WSIB's LMR program with programs in other jurisdictions and with leading practice.
The third-party auditor, KPMG, has provided direction in the following areas:
- Improving opportunities for injured workers to go back to work with the injury employer
- Increasing accountability of employers to continue to employ their injured workers
- Strengthening the quality of programs and increasing the monitoring of service providers
- Giving workers more options and choice
- Improving the process for handling complaints
The audit found that there was no single factor preventing better results. Some of the problems, such as an aging workforce and a system with many partners, are systemic.
The WSIB has accepted the VFMA recommendations, and our management response is included in the VFMA report. The WSIB believes the audit's direction is valuable, and will be taking action to move ahead with the recommendations, consulting with stakeholders as appropriate.
Media inquiries can be directed to Christine Arnott, Media Relations Specialist, at 416-344-4202.