October 29, 2020 – Tom Barber has been appointed Fair Practices Commissioner, taking on the independent role of ensuring fair practices at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
The five-year appointment, made by the WSIB’s Board of Directors, came at the conclusion of an open competition and is effective November 2.
“Mr. Barber has established a career as a leader in the ombudsman field,” said Elizabeth Witmer, Chair of the WSIB. “He has experience helping to resolve complaints and make thoughtful recommendations for improvement.”
As an ombuds office, the Fair Practices Commission provides an independent, neutral and confidential service for people with work-related injuries and illnesses, employers and service providers who have complaints about the service they receive at the WSIB. It also tracks trends in complaints, identifies issues and recommends improvements.
Barber joined the Fair Practices Commission in 2017 as Deputy Commissioner, and fulfilled the role of Acting Commissioner from January to August 2018. He previously held progressive management positions in the Ombudsman of Ontario office.
Witmer said the Fair Practices Commission performs a valuable role in ensuring the workplace injury and illness insurance system is accountable and transparent.
“Our staff work with integrity every day, and we owe it to the people we serve to have the Fair Practices Commission work independently to investigate and make recommendations on complaints,” said Witmer. “I know Mr. Barber is the right person to lead this important work.”
“I am dedicated to the principles of natural justice, fairness, and equitable service and am honoured to receive this appointment,” said Barber. “I will continue to earn my reputation as an honest broker.”