Home Workplace Legislation/Press Releases WorkplaceNL increases employers WCB rate by 2.4% to $1.73 per $100 of assessable earnings

WorkplaceNL increases employers WCB rate by 2.4% to $1.73 per $100 of assessable earnings

by HR Law Canada

WorkplaceNL has announced an increase in the average workers’ compensation assessment rate for employers, effective from Jan. 1, 2024.

The new rate, set at $1.73 per $100 of assessable earnings, represents a 2.4 per cent increase. This rate adjustment includes a continuation of the temporary $0.21 discount that has been in effect since 2019, aimed at managing a surplus in the Injury Fund.

The decision to raise the assessment rate is attributed to a significant 22 per cent increase in claims costs over the last four years, mainly due to higher wage-loss benefits and health care services for workers. Ann Martin, CEO of WorkplaceNL, explained that the costs associated with covering these claims, particularly in the context of inflation and extended claim durations, have necessitated the rate hike.

Martin emphasized the importance of the no-fault workers’ compensation system in providing protection for workers and employers against workplace injuries or illnesses. She also highlighted the organization’s ongoing efforts to collaborate with workplaces in preventing injuries and promoting effective return-to-work programs. These initiatives not only lead to safer work environments but also help in reducing claims costs.

It’s important to note that while the average assessment rate is $1.73, individual rates for employers will vary. These rates depend on the claims experience of their respective industry groups and their own records. According to the latest data, 67 per cent of employers will see an increase in their assessment rate in 2024, while 33 per cent will experience either a decrease or no change.

WorkplaceNL also offers the PRIME program, under which employers can receive refunds by participating in safety training and implementing occupational health and safety and return-to-work programs.

However, WorkplaceNL cautions that the ongoing $0.21 discount is temporary and could be retracted if the funded position of the Injury Fund dips below 110 per cent. Factors such as inflation, interest rates, and global financial market fluctuations, influenced by geopolitical events, may impact the fund’s investments and its financial position.

Additionally, the Maximum Compensable and Assessable Earnings (MCAE) will see a 5.6 per cent increase to $76,955 for 2024. This change, adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index, affects the maximum earnings on which employers are assessed and also influences the calculation of wage-loss benefits for newly injured workers.

Employers are encouraged to access their assessment rate notices online this week and to register for an online services account via MyWorkplaceNL if they have not already done so. This move is part of WorkplaceNL’s ongoing commitment to maintaining a balanced and responsive compensation system for workers and employers in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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