Back in September 2020, we surveyed you, our members, regarding workers’ compensation in Newfoundland and Labrador. Your biggest ask was that WorkplaceNL freeze premiums for 2021.
We shared this with WorkplaceNL’s Board of Directors and we are pleased it listened.
On November 9, 2020, WorkplaceNL announced it would be freezing premiums for 2021 at the 2020 rates. The intent is to keep the rates at this level until the Injury Fund surplus reaches 110%.
The average assessment rate will remain at $1.69 per $100 payroll, and this includes the temporary discount of 21 cents per $100 payroll.
CFIB also presented your views to the Statutory Review Committee on workers’ compensation and made the following recommendations:
- Average assessments rates must not increase in 2021
- Temporary discount should remain
- WorkplaceNL should be fully independent or subject to government oversight
- Policy decision-making processes should not be different for employers and workers
- Implement training for all staff to ensure consistent information is provided
- Create an Office of the Employer Advisor, similar to the one in Nova Scotia
- Employer advisors would help with advocacy within the workers’ compensation system, provide legal representation (for a fee), etc.
CFIB proposes a worker's compensation rebate for employers
WorkplaceNL’s 2016 Annual Report shows that for the second-year running, the organisation has achieved a funded position over the 110 per cent funding target set by the Board of Directors. This is a remarkable achievement when you consider the state of WorkplaceNL’s funded position just a decade ago. The hard work and proper management of the organization should be recognized.
However, since the organisation has exceeded its target of 110 per cent, CFIB recommends a refund of worker’s compensation premiums to employers, to help offset the growing costs of operating a business in the province. Newfoundland and Labrador needs job creation and a rebate on premiums will be a positive step forward. On behalf of you, our members, CFIB wrote to WorkplaceNL requesting a rebate to employers.
CFIB makes submission on PRIME review
WorkplaceNL is currently reviewing the PRIME (Prevention and Return-to-work Insurance Management for Employers/Employees) Program, and as part of that CFIB made a submission and recommendations on your behalf.
Many of you have expressed your frustrations over the administration of the PRIME program and the burden that is placed on employers. Some of you have even chosen not to participate, despite the possibility of a premium refund.
Based on responses to a survey, we made the following recommendations to WorkplaceNL:
- Replace the Prevention and Return-to-work Insurance Management for Employers/Employees (PRIME) Program with an automatic premium rebate in years when the Injury Fund is overfunded by more than 110 percent.
- If WorkplaceNL chooses to maintain the PRIME program, reforms are requires to make it easier for small businesses to participate:
- Recognize the realities of running a smaller and/or seasonal business in the province (e.g. fewer employees in the off-season or less human resources to meet the government obligations) and offer more flexibility in meeting the occupational health and safety (OHS) criteria associated with the program; and
- Reduce the red tape related to OHS requirements and provide financial support for businesses to meet those requirements, especially as it concerns committee training and recertification.