The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Manitoba has more of your money than it needs, in part because of higher than expected returns on investment. CFIB is fighting for an automatic refund to employers whenever the surplus rise above its 130% targeted funding ratio.
Victories! WCB listens and rebates over $180 back to employers over three years
- On April 22nd, 2021, WCB announced an additional $71 million rebate of the surplus back to employers in 2021. This means employers will receive a 40 per cent rebate (credit) of their previous year’s premiums paid.
- On April 21st, 2020, WCB announced an additional $37 million rebate of the surplus back to employers in 2020. This means employers will receive a 20 per cent rebate (credit) of their previous year’s premiums paid.
- On May 3rd, 2019, WCB announced a $74 million rebate of the surplus back to employers in 2019, while continuing to have the lowest average assessment rate in Canada ($0.95 per $100 of accessible earnings). This means employers will receive a 40 per cent rebate (credit) of their previous year’s premiums paid.
The fight continues
CFIB met with WCB’s new President and CEO, Richard Deacon, on April 27, 2021 to continue pushing for automatic surplus rebates in future years while maintaining low rates.
CFIB met with Premier Brian Pallister and Minister Blaine Pedersen in July, 2018 to raise this important issue. We delivered over 2,500 signed petitions calling for a rebate of the entire WCB surplus.
Workers Compensation Board Act Review 2016:
CFIB is also working hard to raise your concerns with the Workers Compensation Board Act during its ongoing review. In addition to a rebate, WCB needs to improve customer service, and build a better employer-employee balance in decision making. Read CFIB’s submission to the Act Review.
CFIB’s recommendations for the WCB Act Review:
- Change WCB’s current targeted funding position of 130% to a funding ratio (total assets over total liabilities) between 100% and 110%;
- Rebate surplus monies when the funded status rises above a threshold of 110%;
- A surplus should be rebated in the year it is realized, similar to Alberta.
Cost of premiums:
- Improve the speed at which an injured worker is sent for diagnostic testing and referred to a specialist - with a goal of reducing wait times to zero.
- Establish an independent office of the Employer Advocate to provide meaningful support to small business.
Rate setting and assessments:
- A maximum insurable earnings limit should be established in the calculation of workers’ compensation premiums and benefits;
- Modifications be made to the assessment system to introduce some elements of occupational classification, for example, a clerical rate;
- Allow businesses to buy their workplace disability insurance coverage from a private insurer (not the workers’ compensation system).
Classification and assessment:
- Ensure all classification and premium information is communicated to small business employers in plain language;
- Allow employers to pay premiums based on actual, rather than estimated, payroll.
- Provide training to front–line staff to ensure they are knowledgeable about the needs of small businesses;
- Clearly define record keeping requirements;
- Adapt working hours to suit needs of small business.