Governance – Stakeholder Engagement Policy 41-003 | Effective Date: May 29, 2014

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish the principles that guide the Board of Directors’ stakeholder engagement initiatives.

Scope

This policy applies to all stakeholders in New Brunswick, the Board of Directors and staff of WorkSafeNB.

Statements

1.0 General Statements

As a stakeholder driven organization, WorkSafeNB’s Board of Directors has a responsibility to build relationships with stakeholder groups and to integrate stakeholder views and opinions into its decision-making process.

Stakeholder engagement helps the Board of Directors understand what stakeholders expect of WorkSafeNB. It is a value creating activity that contributes to the planning, evaluation, and risk management process and achieving the strategic direction of WorkSafeNB. It also helps to identify emerging issues and opportunities for improving service delivery and performance.

Stakeholder engagement is also necessary for understanding a wide-range of interests, divergent opinions, and provides WorkSafeNB with the opportunity to learn from the experience and expertise that stakeholders have to offer.

Policy 41-002 Governance Statement – WorkSafeNB Board of Directors outlines the Board’s commitment to continuously engage stakeholders through:

  • Regular and transparent communication
  • Forums for stakeholders to bring issues to the attention of the Board; and
  • A formal process for the Board to consult with stakeholders on specific issues.

In addition, the following principles support the Board's stakeholder engagement initiatives.

I. The Board of Directors believes that engaging stakeholders is a key component of good governance.

Good governance includes being accountable to the stakeholders WorkSafeNB serves. The Board of Directors values the views of stakeholders and considers stakeholder engagement as an opportunity to build long-term, sustainable relationships with stakeholders so that the Board can share information, become more aware of the other’s priorities, and work together to find mutually agreeable solutions.

The Board recognizes that effective and meaningful engagement results in:

  • Transparency and open communication with stakeholders;
  • Building trust and credibility;
  • Quality decision-making;
  • Greater stakeholder satisfaction; and/or
  • An organization with legislation, policies, and/or programs that is responsive to its stakeholders’ priorities, needs, and concerns.

II. As a stakeholder represented organization, the Board of Directors has a responsibility to involve stakeholders in its decision-making process.

The WorkSafeNB Board of Directors is comprised of Board members representing workers and employers. As such, the Board itself is engaged as a representative of stakeholder groups to understand and debate the issues, and to make consensus-based decisions that are aligned with the governing legislation and the Board’s strategic mandate.

Individual Board members also have a responsibility to maintain relationships with their constituents outside the boardroom and to facilitate communication between stakeholders and the Board. This means that Board members have a duty to inform stakeholders of the Board’s priorities, understand stakeholder positions on these priorities, and communicate to the Board any other industry issues not included on the Board’s agenda that may be of importance to stakeholders.

III.The Board of Directors is committed to transparent communication with stakeholders.

The Board of Directors considers communication with stakeholders a key component of good governance. Transparent communication leads to informed stakeholders, which, in turn, allows them to effectively contribute to engagement activities.

The Board of Directors regularly communicates with stakeholders, providing them with information related to WorkSafeNB’s annual results, policy/legislative priorities, its consultation agenda, its oversight priorities (evaluation), initiatives that have been resourced for the coming year, and on-going developments in occupational health and safety, and compensation.

The Board also maintains a list of stakeholders with whom it communicates. Stakeholders are encouraged to have their names included on this list so that they may receive regular communications from WorkSafeNB. The list can be found at www.worksafenb.ca.

IV.The Board of Directors leads WorkSafeNB’s stakeholder engagement initiatives.

The Board of Directors believes that to understand the views of stakeholders, Board members must actively participate in dialogue with stakeholders, listening to their concerns and hearing their opinions first hand.

As such, the Board of Directors is committed to creating forums to facilitate discussions with stakeholders, so that they may raise important industry-related issues with Board members for inclusion in the Board’s priorities and planning process.

To maximize the benefit of these forums, stakeholders are also expected to take a proactive role in the engagement process by proposing agendas, identifying industry-related issues, actively participating in dialogue, and making recommendations to the Board of Directors.

V. The Board of Directors has a formal process for resourcing issue-specific consultation initiatives.

During the annual strategic planning and risk assessment process, the Board of Directors identifies specific issues for stakeholder consultation related to the WHSCC & WCAT Act, Workers’ Compensation Act (WC Act), Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act), and/or policy priorities. To facilitate consultation, the Board of Directors:

  • Approves its priorities for consultation during its annual planning;
  • Dedicates resources to the consultation priorities;
  • Approves the formal consultation plan;
  • Determines how the consultation and results are to be evaluated and used in the Board’s decision-making process; and
  • Communicates its decisions to the stakeholder groups who participated in the consultation.

The Board of Directors may consider consulting stakeholders on specific issues when:

  • A significant issue confronting WorkSafeNB arises;
  • Divergent opinions among stakeholder groups and WorkSafeNB exist;
  • Concerns about the impact of an issue on WorkSafeNB’s goals or strategies exist;
  • A need to improve stakeholder knowledge on an issue exists;
  • WorkSafeNB wants to explore options on particular issues;
  • WorkSafeNB is looking for views on particular legislative or policy changes; and/or
  • Decisions may have a significant impact on resources.

For each consultation initiative, the Board of Directors approves a formal consultation plan, which at a minimum includes the:

  • Issues being explored;
  • Approaches/tools to be used;
  • Scope of the consultation activities;
  • Stakeholders to be consulted;
  • Timing of the initiative; and
  • Resources required.

The Board may use a wide range of approaches/tools to support stakeholder engagement such as:

  • Discussion papers;
  • Questionnaires;
  • Online feedback and discussion forums;
  • Focus groups;
  • Ad hoc stakeholder advisory meetings;
  • Industry-specific technical committees; and/or
  • Stakeholder committees.

The Board of Directors may also maintain standing committees to further engage stakeholders in the decision-making process. These committees have formal terms of reference and provide all participants with an opportunity to become more familiar with the issues, encourage in-depth dialogue, and enables stakeholders to develop solutions to identified issues.

These Committees include:

  • The Injured Workers’ Advisory Committee (terms of reference attached); and
  • Any other standing committees that the Board determines to be appropriate in achieving its stakeholder engagement priorities.

VI. The Board of Directors must balance stakeholder opinions within the parameters of its governing legislation and the strategic direction of WorkSafeNB.

The Board of Directors must ensure that all decisions are made within the parameters of the WHSCC & WCAT Act, WC Act, Firefighters’ Compensation Act (FC Act), and OHS Act and are aligned with the strategic direction of WorkSafeNB.

As such, in the decision-making process, the Board of Directors analyzes all available information, including divergent stakeholder positions, and makes consensus-based decisions by balancing legislation, strategic direction, resource requirements, and stakeholder needs.

Policy 41-002 Governance Statement – WorkSafeNB Board of Directors

Publications

Strengthening the System, An Independent Review of New Brunswick’s Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation System, March 2008

Its More Than Just TalkListen, Learn and Act – A New Model for Public Engagement – The Final Report of the Public Engagement Initiative, Government of New Brunswick, April 2008

The Stakeholder Engagement Manual, Stakeholder Research Associates Inc., 2005

Appendices

Appendix A – Terms of Reference – Injured Workers’ Advisory Committee

 

Stakeholder – a person, group, or organization that has direct or indirect interest in an organization because it can affect or be affected by the organization’s actions, objectives, and policies. Primary WorkSafeNB stakeholders include workers, employers, service providers, WorkSafeNB employees, and the Government of New Brunswick.

Stakeholder engagement – an organization’s efforts to understand the concerns of stakeholders and involve them in the activities and decision-making processes of the organization so that mutual interests are aligned, risks reduced, and the organization’s performance advanced.

WorkSafeNB – means the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission or "the Commission" as defined by the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal Act (WHSCC & WCAT Act).

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