WorkSafeNB announced the average assessment rate for 2020 , it will be $2.40.
This is a reduction of $0.25 from the 2019 rate of $2.65, a 9.4% decrease. WorkSafeNB estimates that 91% of employers will see a net rate decrease in 2020, 87% will see rate changes reductions between -1% and -25%.
Why did premiums skyrocket from 2016 to 2019?
In 2015 the provincial government changed the Workers Compensation Appeals Tribunal (WCAT) and gave it more powers. The WCAT subsequently overturned some of the policies put in place by WorkSafeNB to control costs and benefits. Over three years, these decisions added considerable costs to the system pushing the average rate up to $2.92.
The new costs introduced into the system had nothing to do with workplace safety. In fact, the number of workplace accidents did not increase. Costs increased because claims lasted longer and the workers’ compensation system was paying for benefits not related to workplace injuries. In some cases, it was replacing social and health services.
What did CFIB do about skyrocketing rates?
- CFIB surveyed New Brunswick members and used your voice to emphasize the negative impact premiums hikes are having on your business.
- CFIB actively represented the interests of business owners on the ministerial taskforce created by government to review the workers’ compensation system .It put forward clear recommendations to government to restore stability to the system.
- The new provincial government followed CFIB recommendations and those of the task force.
The laws was changed in 2018, the policies controlling costs and benefits can no longer be overturned by the WCAT. This allowed the WorkSafeNB board to immediately reduce its average assessment rate for 2019 from $2.92 to $2.65. Rates are expected to progressively go down over the next few years.
These high rates are still having an impact on my business
There is more work to be done.
- We continue to actively voice your concerns to the premier’s office, multiple ministers, bureaucrats and to the WorkSafeNB CEO, chair and board.
- Over 4,100 CFIB members have already signed the Action Alert asking the WorkSafeNB board to limit benefits to work related injuries and balance to benefit costs.If you haven’t done so already, contact our office at [email protected] to request a copy.
- If an employee files a claim and you have concerns or questions use the services of the Office of Employers’ Advocates .
- If you have issues with customer service from WorkSafeNB contact the Issues Resolution Office (IRO).
- Prepare to reduce injury costs and get your employees back to work! Contact a CFIB Business Counselor today for guidance on Return to Work and to receive Occupational Health and Safety Materials for your business .
Have questions? Comments? Contact our office at [email protected] or by calling 1 888 234-2232.