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Average Employer Assessment Rate Reduced, Benefits for Injured Workers Highest in Atlantic Canada
Wednesday, October 14, 2015


St. John’s, NL - Effective January 1, 2016, the average assessment rate charged to employers by the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WorkplaceNL) will be reduced by $0.25 to $2.20 per $100 of assessable payroll. Approximately 99.3 per cent of employers will see their 2016 assessment rate decrease or stay the same. The lower assessment rate coincides with record low injury rates.

The rate reduction is due to the removal of a $0.25 surcharge that employers pay to cover past unfunded liabilities in the workers’ compensation system. A surcharge has been in place since 1993.

As of the end of 2014, the injury fund was $1.1 billion and over 112 per cent funded. This is the first time the funding target of 110 per cent has been exceeded, a major milestone in establishing the long-term stability of the injury fund for employers and workers in the province. Based on the stakeholder-agreed funding policy, the surcharge may now be removed.

Assessment rates are premiums paid by employers to cover anticipated costs of workplace injuries, return-to-work programs, prevention initiatives and the cost of administering the workers’ compensation system.

Employers will be notified of their specific rates, in writing, within two weeks. The $0.25 decrease in the assessment rate is an average. Individual employers will continue to have different assessment rates depending upon their industry and workplace injury experience

“For more than a decade, employers and injured workers have been diligent in their efforts to improve workplace safety in Newfoundland and Labrador and the injury rate is the lowest it has ever been,” said Ralph Tucker, Chair, WorkplaceNL. “This is a credit to the cooperative management of the system by our labour and employer stakeholders. Through these progressive partnerships we are able to lower assessment rates and ensure injured workers receive fair benefits. More workers are returning home safely to their families, our ultimate goal.”

Effective January 1, 2016, the Maximum Compensable and Assessable Earnings (MCAE) for injured workers will increase to $62,540, the highest in Atlantic Canada. This increase reflects a 1.5 per cent annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment. Injured workers submitting a new claim whose pre-injury earnings are at or above $62,540 will be eligible to be compensated at this new limit.

“The Board is committed to continuing its philosophy of using a balanced approached to consider the needs of both injured workers and employers, while also being financially responsible with the injury fund, now and into the future,” added Mr. Tucker.

About WorkplaceNL

Serving approximately 13,000 injured workers and more than 19,000 employers, WorkplaceNL is an employer-funded, no fault insurance system that promotes safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and offers fair compensation to injured workers and their dependents.

The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission is now using a new short name, WorkplaceNL.

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Media Contacts
Carla Riggs
Director of Communications
WorkplaceNL
t 709.778.1590
carla.riggs@workplacenl.ca

 

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