OHS Canada Magazine

WorkSafeBC holds average employer premiums flat for 2024

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July 27, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety wcb workers' compensation WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC announced today that the preliminary average base rate for 2024 will remain unchanged at 1.55 per cent of employers’ assessable payroll. Subject to final approvals by WorkSafeBC’s board of directors, this will be the seventh year in a row that the average base rate has remained at this level, consistent with WorkSafeBC’s goal of keeping rates stable.

Annual base premium rates are driven by provincial injury rates, return-to-work performance and the resulting cost of claims, as well as investment returns, it said in a press release.

Each year, the costs in some industries go up, some go down and others stay the same. In 2024, 54 per cent of employers in B.C. are projected to experience a decrease in their industry base rate, 37 per cent will see their industry base rate increase, and nine per cent will see no change, it said.

Rate-setting process

In setting the annual premium rates, industries with higher-trending claim costs move to higher-risk rate groups and pay higher rates, it said. Those with lower-trending claim costs move to lower-risk rate groups and pay lower rates.

In addition, an individual employer’s claims-cost history is also factored into their rates. Individual employers with a claims-cost history that is lower-than-average for their industry receive a discount on their rates, while employers with a higher-than-average claims-cost history receive a surcharge. This means an employer can drive its premium rate lower by improving health and safety outcomes at their workplace.


Average base premium rate kept below the cost of claims: WorkSafeBC

The Workers Compensation Act requires WorkSafeBC to set premium rates annually for employers to pay for the workers’ compensation system. Premiums fund the costs associated with work-related injuries or diseases, health care, wage loss, rehabilitation and administration.

WorkSafeBC said its strong financial position in recent years has allowed the average base premium rate to be kept below the average cost of claims, with the difference funded from surplus funds. The preliminary average base rate of 1.55 per cent for 2024 will be less than the expected cost rate of 1.75 per cent, it said.

Between 2020 and 2024, WorkSafeBC projects that $1.8 billion of surplus funds will have been used to keep the rates paid by employers below the cost of claims.


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