WorkplaceNL holds average assessment rate steady for fifth consecutive year
Workers Compensation newfoundland and labrador wcb WCB Rates
WorkplaceNL is holding the average assessment rate paid by employers at $1.69 per $100 of payroll, effective Jan. 1, 2023. That includes a temporary average discount of 21 cents.
The rate continues to be the lowest in over 35 years, the agency said.
Per stakeholder-agreed policy, the average 21 cent temporary discount is to reduce the surplus in the employer-funded Injury Fund over 15 years – which was 132.3 per cent funded at Dec. 31, 2021, over the 110 per cent target. The discount was first applied in 2019.
While the average rate is $1.69, employers’ individual rates will vary based on their industry grouping and their workplace injury experience. Fewer claims, lower costs and safer workplaces means lower rates for most employers. Those with a fully functioning safety program and return-to-work program can help prevent injury and better support injured workers, it said.
The Maximum Compensable and Assessable Earnings (MCAE) used to calculate the total assessment employers pay will increase by 5.6 per cent, from $69,005 to $72,870 for 2023. Wage-loss benefits for injured workers submitting a new claim whose pre-injury earnings are at or above $72,870 will be calculated using this new limit. WorkplaceNL adjusts the MCAE each year based on the average Consumer Price Index.
“Our financial position, with better-than-expected investment returns in 2021, allows us to hold the average assessment rate steady for a fifth consecutive year,” said Dennis Hogan. “As a responsible steward of a sustainable Injury Fund, we will continue to work with employers, workers, safety associations and other safety partners to prevent workplace injury and illness, and improve services for injured workers and their employers should there be an incident.”
WorkplaceNL cautions that the average assessment rate may soon increase. Claim durations and costs are rising. Also, supply chain issues, inflation and geopolitical developments are causing significant fluctuations in global financial markets and the Injury Fund investments. The average base assessment rate may increase if claims costs increase, and the discount may be removed if the funded position falls below 110 per cent.
Notices of assessment rates for employers will be online by the end of November. Employers who have not yet done so are encouraged to register for a connect (online services) account via MyWorkplaceNL.