Today NDP Leader Gerry Rogers is reacting to a letter she received, sent to all MHAs, by Richard Alexander of the NL Employers’ Council. In the letter, Alexander objects to presumptive workplace mental health legislation that may be coming in the fall session of the House of Assembly and attacks NAPE’s campaign on the issue.
“I find the letter from the Employers’ Council very disconcerting. Having travelled the province with the All-Party Committee on Mental Health and Addictions, I find it hard to believe that employers in our province are actually opposed to progressive policies that would assist and support those suffering from workplace mental health injuries and illnesses,” Rogers said.
“This action seems completely contrary to what is happening around the province in terms of promoting mental health at work, enabling access to services, and reducing stigma,” Rogers said. “It’s difficult to believe that this letter from the leadership of the Employers’ Council actually represents the majority of their members’ views.”
Rogers says NAPE is promoting legislation encompassing a full spectrum of workplace mental health injuries leading to a range of conditions not limited to PTSD. She says this legislation would be among the best in the country.
“The Employers’ Council seems to think this legislation will cost them more money by depleting the workers’ compensation fund,” Rogers said. “The reality is, other provinces have brought in presumptive legislation for front-line workers, or workers in general, and it hasn’t led to major cost increases.”
Rogers says workers who want to claim a mental health injury from work will still have to go through a formal process and receive a medical diagnosis. Presumptive mental health legislation will simply make it possible for people to access the appropriate treatment in a reasonable timeframe.
“Our Caucus will be doing whatever we can to ensure workers’ mental health is protected and that our legislation is on par with the rest of the country.”
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