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Manitoba’s WCB is overfunded and getting worse!

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The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Manitoba has released its financial results for 2017, which show that the program has more of your money than it needs, and is still growing! In 2017, WCB is at a 148.8% funding level – well above the 145.9% funding level in 2016. 

What does this mean for your business?

WCB is 100% funded by employer premiums, so every dollar that WCB is overfunded by, is money that belongs to employers like you. In 2017, WCB was overfunded beyond its targeted funding ratio (130%) by $254 million. 

We’re working hard to get you a refund!

CFIB is pushing the Manitoba government to refund excess WCB premiums back to employers. In other provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and PEI, boards have rebated thousands of dollars back to business owners like you.  

CFIB meeting with Deputy Premier Heather Stefanson and Minister Blaine Pedersen Manitoba December 2017

CFIB meets with Deputy Premier Stefanson and Minister Pederson about need for a WCB rebate

CFIB estimated that after 2016, if WCB refunded excess premiums to get its funding ratio down to 110% as we have recommended, the average refund to Manitoba employers would be $960 per employee.

We met with Hon. Blain Pedersen, Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, in September 2017 to deliver over 1,350 signed petitions from Manitoba business owners calling for a WCB refund.

Actions to date:

February 27, 2018: CFIB met with Hon. Blaine Pedersen, the Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, about the need for a better employer-employee balance during the WCB Act, SAFE Work, and Workplace Safety &Health Act reviews. 

December 6, 2017: CFIB’s President, Dan Kelly, and Director of Provincial Affairs, Jonathan Alward, met with Deputy Premier Heather Stefanson and Minister Pedersen about the urgent need for a WCB rebate. 

September 19, 2017: CFIB met with Minister Pedersen to review CFIB’s key priorities for Manitoba’s WCB Act Review, and delivered over 1,350 signed petitions calling on WCB to refund excess premiums.  

February, 2017: CFIB submitted your views to the The Workers Compensation Act Legislative Review Committee’s (2016) review of Manitoba’s Workers Compensation Act. This is the first such review in 10 years.

July, 2016: CFIB launched an aggressive campaign Urging Manitoba WCB to stop overcharging employers!

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:

Financial accountability:

  • 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.

Claims management:

  • 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.

Customer service:

  • 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.

Fight for your money back!

Help us push for change by signing our Action Alert: Urging Manitoba WCB to refund employers! Once signed, please return it by fax to (204) 982-0811 or scan and email it to [email protected].

Have questions about WCB? Contact Business Resources at 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected].