Workers’ compensation and COVID-19
Will I be covered if I get COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a contagious disease. We have community spread of COVID-19 in the Yukon and the risk of exposure is high in the general population.
You are not entitled to compensation simply because you contracted COVID-19 while doing your job. For a claim related to COVID-19 to be accepted as a work-related injury:
- The job tasks you perform must carry an inherent risk of you getting COVID-19;
- There must be causative significance between the job tasks you perform and you getting COVID-19; and
- There must be significantly greater risk of you getting COVID-19 compared to the general population’s risk.
In other words, when we consider a claim for COVID-19, we need to know what the work-related risks are in the job that the worker does that are significantly greater than for anyone else.
For example, a worker who provides direct care to patients with COVID-19 and a worker who has the task of testing people for COVID-19 are at a significantly greater risk of exposure compared to the general population. As well, some other health care providers carry out tasks that put them at significantly higher risk such as a paramedic on a medivac flight with a patient who has COVID-19.
In every claim, we decide if the worker’s injury meets the criteria for a work-related injury and provide entitlement based on the specific and unique circumstances of each case. You can file a claim by completing a worker's report of injury/illness.
You are also obligated to inform your employer.
If I am not vaccinated, will this affect my existing workers’ compensation?
Yes, it might. Your existing workers’ compensation may be affected if you have chosen to be unvaccinated against COVID-19.
New rules and regulations announced by the federal government and the Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Heath require proof of vaccination for travel and to work in specific areas of employment. If you cannot meet these requirements because you are unvaccinated, there may be implications for your workers’ compensation benefits.
We will work with any unvaccinated injured worker with an accepted claim to try to find alternative solutions for the barriers to medical travel and return to work. If you have chosen to be unvaccinated and you are not medically exempted, you will still be required to participate in the treatment recommended for your recovery and return to work, as stated in the Workers’ Compensation Act. If you do not participate in the treatment recommended for you or you are unable to participate in return to work because of vaccination rules, we may have to suspend your benefits.
If you are not vaccinated against COVID-19, please talk to your case manager.
To minimize risk and reduce the chances of exposure to COVID-19, we advise you to protect yourself and one another by following all advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health. For the latest local guidance, review the Chief Medical Officer of Health COVID-19 updates.
Mental health resources
The unique workplace challenges presented by COVID-19 emphasize hazards that could lead to psychological injuries. Resources presented on this page may contribute to prevention efforts.
The Government of Yukon’s Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services is offering telephone and video based counselling.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada has created a resource hub, dedicated to helping those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has created a resource hub for Canadians dealing with mental health issues.
The Government of Canada has created a resource hub for Canadians dealing with mental health issues.
Right to refuse unsafe work guidance
As a worker in Yukon, you have the right to refuse work if you have reasonable cause to believe that performing a job or task puts you or someone else at risk. Learn more about how workers, supervisors and employers can work together to improve workplace health and safety in these situations.
Health professionals' guidance
For information specific to health professionals, refer to the Government of Canada’s novel coronavirus information for health professionals.