OHS Canada Magazine

WCB Nova Scotia releases 2021 employer assessment rates

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September 1, 2020
By OHS Canada

Workers Compensation fishing nova scotia wcb

Education, training has made fishing industry safer: CEO

Years of education and training in fishing are making a dangerous industry safer, while also making it more affordable for Nova Scotia captains to provide the protection of workers’ compensation coverage to their crews, according to WCB Nova Scotia.

In announcing 2021 employer assessment rates Sept. 1, the organization pointed out the long-term progress in fishing, which is seeing its rate decline a further six per cent to $4.03 per $100 of assessable payroll. That’s a 50 per cent reduction since 2015, when the rate had reached an all-time high.

June 2015 marked the launch of Fishing Safety Now, a plan for a safer industry developed by stakeholders and with direct input from those in the industry from across Nova Scotia.

Progress continues

WCB CEO Stuart MacLean says this demonstrates the progress made over the past few years, as the industry has put more focus on safety and return to work.

“I’m very proud of the work the fishing industry has put in over the last five years, it’s been extraordinary. The industry has many safety champions, and they’ve worked tirelessly to improve conditions for the men and women who earn their living at sea,” he said.


“However, fishing remains a dangerous and demanding job, and we can’t take our eyes off the horizon. There is still much more work to be done, and the positive momentum must continue.”

Fishing captains and business owners are among the 67 per cent of employers who will have their WCB rate stay the same or decrease. Rates are also decreasing in the logging, roofing, and plumbing and heating industries.

And after years of increases, workplaces dedicated to the care of others have seen their rates level out. Home care and special care homes are seeing a slight increase of one per cent, while long-term care homes are seeing their rate hold steady.

Assessment rates are a reflection of the safety and return-to-work performance of an industry and the employers within it. Some industries have made progress, and are paying less next year because of it. Other industries have seen their claims costs increase, and just like other insurance, their premiums will increase as a result.

Overall, WCB Nova Scotia employer assessment rates will remain stable in 2021. The average assessment rate has been $2.65 per $100 of payroll for the past 17 years.

For more information about 2021 employer assessment rates and how they’re calculated, visit wcb.ns.ca/rates. The 2021 list of surcharged employers can be found here.

2021 assessment rates at a glance:

  • 2021 average rate: $2.65 per $100 of assessable payroll
  • Percentage of employers with rates staying the same or decreasing: 67 per cent
  • Percentage of employers with rates increasing: 33 per cent
  • Number of covered employers: 20,950
  • Number of surcharged employers: 113
  • Percentage of employers that are surcharged: 0.54 per cent.


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