Appeal Commission Rules of Procedure
1. In This Regulation,
"Act" means The Workers Compensation Act;
"business day" means Monday to Friday, except a day that is a holiday;
"Chief Appeal Commissioner" means the person designated as the Chief Appeal Commissioner under clause 60.2(1)(a) of the Act;
"chief executive officer" means the person appointed as chief executive officer under subsection 59(1) of the Act;
"hearing" means a oral hearing or a written hearing of matter, as decided by the Chief Appeal Commissioner under subsection 5(2);
"person who has a direct interest" includes, with respect to an accident or other matter before the appeal commission, the following:
- the worker whose claim for compensation is before he appeal commission,
- the employer of the worker at the time of the accident,
- any employer whose assessment is before the appeal commission,
- a person referred to in subsection 9(1), 9(7), 9(8), 60(2.1) or 68(4) of the Act.
- the board, where the chief executive officer requests standing,
- a person who the Chief Appeal Commissioner decides under subsection 5(3) is a person who has a direct interest, and
- in the case of an accident that results in the death of a worker,
- a dependent of the worker,
- any legal personal representative of the worker, and
- a spouse of the worker;
"presiding officer" means the presiding officer of a panel appointed under clause 60.3(1)(a) of the Act;
"registrar" means the person appointed from time to time as registrar by the chief executive officer.
Duties of the Registrar
2. The duties of the registrar include the following:
- to schedule hearings by panels and, in respect of each matter set for hearing, to notify in writing any person who has a direct interest in the matter;
- to review the file of the board before the hearing of a matter,
- to identify the issues in a matter to be decided by a panel;
- to ensure that the file is complete with respect to the information required for the hearing,
- to recommend to the Chief Appeal Commissioner the type of hearing most appropriate to the matter,
- to advise the Chief Appeal Commissioner or the chairperson of the Board of Directors whether, with respect to the matter, an appeal commissioner has an actual or apparent conflict of interest or is a person who has a direct personal interest in the matter; and
- to try to obtain any information that a panel decides is necessary or advisable for the purpose of a hearing, and on obtaining the information to provide, subject to the Act, a copy to the panel and any person who has a direct interest in the matter; and
- in respect of a decision of the appeal commission, to give notice to the corporate secretary and any person who has a direct interest in the matter, in accordance with this regulation.
Referral to Second Panel
3(1). Pursuant to subsection 60.3(2) of the Act, the Chief Appeal Commissioner may at any time refer a matter that is before one panel to another panel where
- the first panel does not render a decision in accordance with subsection 12(1);
- an appeal commissioner on the first panel is unable at any time to sit on the panel, or to continue to sit on the panel, for any reason, including an actual or apparent conflict of interest; or
- in the opinion of the Chief Appeal Commissioner, a referral to a second panel is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter.
Members of the Second Panel
3(2). Subject to section 60.3 of the Act and subsection 12(2) of this regulation, when a matter is referred to a second panel, the second panel may include members of the original panel.
Commencement of Matters
4(1). Every matter before the appeal commission shall be commenced by filing an application in a form acceptable to the appeal commission.
Proceeding Not Invalid by Reason of Defect
4(2). No proceeding shall be invalidated or defeated by reason of defect in form or a technical irregularity, and any amendment required to correct a defect in form or a technical irregularity, and any amendment required to correct a defect in form or technical irregularity may be made on such terms and conditions as the Chief Appeal Commissioner may direct.
5(1). Subject to the Act and this regulation, hearings of matters by the appeal commission shall be conducted fairly and in accordance with the rules of natural justice.
Type of Hearing
5(2). The Chief Appeal Commissioner shall determine the type of hearing that a matter is to receive before the appeal commission, but the panel may change the type of hearing where it determines at the hearing that another type of hearing is necessary or advisable for the proper disposition of the matter.
C.A.C. to Decide Person who has Direct Interest
5(3). Where a question arises in a matter before the appeal commission whether a person or party is a person who has a direct interest, the Chief Appeal Commissioner shall decide the question.
Appeal of Decision of C.A.C.
5(4). A decision of the Chief Appeal Commissioner under subsection (3) may be appealed to a panel.
Hearings Open to Public only with Consent
5(5). Hearings shall not be open to the public, but a panel may allow a hearing to be open to the public with the consent of all persons who have a direct interest in the matter and who are present for the hearing.
6(1). Pursuant to section 55 of the Act, a panel may compel the attendance of witnesses, examine witnesses under oath, cause depositions of witnesses to be taken, compel witnesses to answer questions and compel the production of books, papers, documents and other things.
6(2). An order under subsection (1) shall be issued only by the presiding officer upon order of the panel.
Examination of Witnesses
6(3). The panel may, in an oral hearing, permit the examination, cross-examination and re-examination of witnesses.
Exclusion of Witnesses
6(4). In a hearing, other than a written hearing, the panel may exclude a witness from the hearing until the witness is called to give evidence.
Evidence Determined by Panel
6(5). The panel shall determine any questions respecting evidence, including the relevance of evidence to the matter before the panel.
Panel May Receive Evidence and Information
6(6). The panel may receive and consider evidence and information on oath, by affidavit or otherwise, whether or not the evidence or information is admissible in a court of law.
Payment of Witness Fees
6(7). The appeal commission may pay fees and expenses of witnesses in accordance with policies adopted by the Board of Directors.
Board May Amend Pending Matter
7(1). At any time before the disposition of a matter by the appeal commission, the board may rescind or amend any determination previously made by it, or make a further or supplementary determination, and the board shall forthwith notify the registrar of any such determination.
Result of Change of Determination by Board
7(2). Where a determination of the board is rescinded or amended by the board under subsection (1),
- a person who has a direct interest may appeal the determination to the appeal commission; and
- any issue remaining before the appeal commission in the original matter shall be amended as required to take into account the change in the determination by the board.
Filing Material for Hearing
8(1). Subject to subsections (2) and (3), any written evidence to be submitted for consideration at the hearing shall be filed with the registrar not later than five business days before the hearing.
8(2). In the case of a written hearing, any representation by a person who has a direct interest shall be in writing and filed with the registrar not later than five business days before the hearing.
Representations and Evidence at Hearing
8(3). Subject to section 11, in a hearing, the panel shall give any person who has a direct interest in the matter a reasonable opportunity to make representations, and may allow the presentation of additional evidence.
8(4). the panel may adjourn the hearing of a matter for such time and upon such terms and conditions as the panel considers necessary or advisable.
Notice of Hearing
9(1). Where a date is set for the hearing of a matter, the registrar shall give notice to any person who has a direct interest in the matter not less than 15 business days before the hearing, unless all persons who have a direct interest in the matter agree to reduce the time for notice.
Service of Documents
9(2). For the purpose of this regulation, a document may be served personally, by registered mail, or by facsimile machine.
Deemed Service of Document
9(3). A document is deemed to be served on a person
- on the day the document is delivered to the person, or left with an adult person at the last known address of the person to be served;
- if sent by registered mail, on the third business day following the day of mailing; or
- if transmitted by facsimile machine,
- on the day it is transmitted, where it is transmitted during business hours, or
- on the next business day following the day it is transmitted, where it is transmitted after business hours.
Definition of "Business Hours"
9(4). For the purpose of subsection (3), "business hours" means 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on a business day.
Enlargement of Time
9(5). The panel may enlarge the time prescribed by this regulation for doing an act, filing a document or taking a proceeding.
Hearings Chaired by Presiding Officer
10(1). The hearing shall be chaired by the presiding officer of the panel.
Conduct and Decorum
10(2). Conduct of and decorum at the hearing shall be at the discretion of the presiding officer.
10(3). The presiding officer may direct that a record be made of the hearing.
Copy of Transcript
10(4). Where a record is made of the hearing, a person who has a direct interest in the matter is entitled to a copy of a transcript of the record on written request and payment of any fee set by the Board of Directors.
Issues at Hearing
11(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the panel shall decide only such issues as are identified by the registrar before the hearing.
11(2). Where at a hearing an issue that has not been identified by the registrar as an issue for determination by the panel is raised, the presiding officer shall advise the Chief Appeal Commissioner who may
- pursuant to subsection 60.8(3) of the Act, refer the issue to the board for further investigation and, on completion of the board's investigation, may direct the panel or another panel to decide the issue; or
- direct the panel to decide the issue.
Referral of Additional Issue to Board
11(3). Notwithstanding subsection (2), where the issue that is raised has not previously been determined by the board, the Chief Appeal Commissioner shall refer the issue to the board for determination.
Decision of Panel
12(1). A decision of panel shall be rendered within 60 days of the completion of the hearing and the panel shall immediately communicate the decision, together with written reasons, to the registrar.
Where Panel Does Not Render Decision
12(2). Where a panel does not render a decision within the time stipulated under subsection (1), the Chief Appeal Commissioner shall refer the matter to a new panel comprised of appeal commissioners who were not members of the first panel to hear and decide the matter.
Registrar to Provide Copy of Reasons
12(3). On receiving notice of a decision under subsection (1), the registrar shall immediately, in writing, give notice of the decision to the corporate secretary and any person who has a direct interest in the matter.
Coming Into Force
13. This regulation comes into force on January 1, 1992 or on registration, whichever is later.
November 26, 1991
THE WORKERS COMPENSATION BOARD:
Robert L. Kopstein, Chairperson