Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has announced that premium rates will be maintained at current levels for all employers in 2014. This decision by the WSIB board of directors provides stability for employers as the WSIB, in consultation with stakeholders, reviews its methods for setting premium rates.
“Continuing improvements in recovery and return-to-work outcomes for Ontario’s injured workers – along with the WSIB’s improved financial picture – mean we are well-positioned to offer stability for employers,” said WSIB chair Elizabeth Witmer. “Results for the first quarter of 2013 show the system is progressing well towards its financial targets, including meeting funding requirements set under government regulation last year.”
These improvements in recovery and return to work (see backgrounder) have been accomplished while maintaining benefit levels for injured workers.
“Premium rate increases, along with growth in insurable earnings, brought an additional $2.4 billion into the system from 2010 and 2013,” said Witmer. “At the same time, Lost Time Injuries have decreased, and better outcomes for injured workers have reduced benefit costs, saving the system more than $500 million a year.”
The WSIB’s recently released financial and operational reports on the first quarter of 2013, show continued operational and financial improvements, which are helping the WSIB to reduce its unfunded liability.
“We know we can meet the challenges ahead as we continue to introduce enhanced programs and new technology to deliver even better value and service to workers and employers” concludes Witmer. “Although we have more work ahead of us, we are on-track to create a modern, sustainable system that supports economic growth and productivity and provides a financially stable system for future generations.”
The Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) said in its newsletter that “This is the first time in recent memory that there has been no increase.”
“This stability in rates is good news for employers as they can bid on future work knowing the costs of WSIB coverage and it does not further detract from Ontario’s competitiveness,” the COCA newsletter said.