WorkSafeNB has announced a 15 per cent increase in the average workers’ compensation premiums for 2018. The average premium will be $1.70 per $100 of assessed payroll, but many of you will pay a higher rate.
This new increase in premium costs will be difficult for your businesses to deal with; in fact 95 per cent of CFIB members in New Brunswick have said it will be very or somewhat difficult to absorb additional increases in 2018.
What can I do about it?
- Close to 1,000 CFIB members have already signed the Action Alert asking government to bring in legislative changes. If you haven’t done so already, contact CFIB Business Counselors today and sign the Action Alert!
- In November you will receive a letter from WorkSafeNB setting your rates for 2018. Verify that your business is in the proper industry grouping, if your business pays more than $2,000 in premiums contact WorkSafeNB to make sure your experience rating is being considered.
- If an employee files a claim and you have concerns or questions use the services of the Office of Employers’ Advocates.
- Prepare to reduce injury costs and get your employees back to work! Contact a CFIB Business Counselor today for a copy of our Return to Work package and Occupational Health and Safety Materials for your business.
Why are premiums going up?
Some of the key factors driving premium increases are clear: In essence the burden of proof for an employee who claims a work place injury is lower. Businesses are the ones who have to prove that an injury or illness did not occur at work and more personal preexisting conditions are being accepted.
As an example: An employee who has a pre-existing medical condition that is not work related (i.e. diabetes) who suffers a workplace injury that can heal in a few weeks (i.e. a broken hand) is staying on the workers compensation system for a longer period of time as a result of complications or symptoms that are directly related to the preexisting condition opposed to the workplace injury itself.
What is CFIB doing about it?
CFIB’s position to government and the WorkSafeNB board is simple: the workers compensation system was never intended to replace healthcare, and it is unfair that you pay high premiums to cover non-workplace injuries and illnesses. Legislative changes are required to overturn some of the decision made by the appeals tribunal and to stabilize costs to the system. Over the last year, we have been very active on your behalf.
- CFIB is taking your concerns to the WorkSafeNB CEO and chair, the minister and bureaucrats;
- CFIB is voicing your concerns to the independent taskforce named by government to review WorkSafeNB;
- CFIB surveyed its members and produced a report on the impact premiums hikes are having on your business.