WorkplaceNL increases employer assessment rates by 2.4%, cites rising claim costs
Health & Safety newfoundland and labrador Workers Compensation WorkplaceNL
The average assessment rate paid by employers to WorkplaceNL, the agency that oversees workers’ compensation in Newfoundland and Labrador, is rising 2.4% on Jan. 1.
That brings the rate to $1.73 per $100 of assessable earnings, which includes a temporary discount of 21 cents, according to WorkplaceNL.
The higher average assessment rate is due to rising claims costs, including wage-loss benefits and health care services for workers, which have increased 22 per cent from 2018 to 2022.
The discount, which started in 2019, remains to address a surplus in the Injury Fund, it said.
“The no-fault workers’ compensation system protects workers and employers in the unfortunate event of a workplace injury or illness,” said Ann Martin, CEO, WorkplaceNL. “With inflation, changes to benefits and longer claim durations, it now costs more to cover wage-loss benefits and health care services for work-related injury claims, for the life of the claim.”
While the average rate is $1.73, employers’ individual rates will vary based on their industry group’s claims experience as well as their own. Sixty-seven per cent of employers will have a higher assessment rate in 2024, while 33 per cent will have a lower or stable rate.
Employers may qualify for a refund under the PRIME program by completing safety training as well as having occupational health and safety and return-to-work programs in place, it said.
WorkplaceNL continues to caution that the temporary discount may be removed if the funded position falls below 110 per cent. Fluctuations in global financial markets, due to inflation, interest rates and geopolitical developments, may impact Injury Fund investments and therefore the funded position.
The Maximum Compensable and Assessable Earnings (MCAE) will increase by 5.6 per cent to $76,955 for 2024. The MCAE is the maximum amount of earnings an employer will pay assessments on per worker. Wage-loss benefits for injured workers submitting a new claim whose pre-injury earnings are at or above $76,955 will be calculated using this new limit. MCAE is adjusted each year based on the average Consumer Price Index.
Notices of assessment rates for employers will be online this week. Employers are encouraged to register for a connect (online services) account via MyWorkplaceNL if they have not already done so.