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WorkSafeNB costs a looming disaster for employers and workers

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Moncton, November 8, 2018 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling on the New Brunswick government to immediately take action to reduce out of control costs incurred by WorkSafeNB and to restore the independence of its board.

WorkSafeNB today announced the average workers’ compensation premium will skyrocket from $1.70 to $2.92 per $100 of assessed payroll in 2019. New Brunswick is now set to become the province with the highest average workers’ compensation rate in Canada.

“These new costs have nothing to do with increases in workplace injuries and everything to do with a system out of control.” said Louis-Philippe Gauthier, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs, New Brunswick. “Businesses owners are frustrated and understandably angry. They have no ability to fix what is happening to the workers’ compensation system and yet are forced to pay the bill for a mistake government made in 2015.”

In 2015 the provincial government modified the rules governing the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal. Since then, the Tribunal has overturned WorkSafeNB policies and left it unable to control benefits costs. In 2017 the provincial government mandated an independent taskforce to review the Workers’ Compensation System. The independent taskforce made twenty-eight recommendations to ensure the long-term sustainability of the system.

“All members of the new legislative assembly have an opportunity to collaborate and fix this by acting quickly on the recommendations of the taskforce,” added Gauthier. “If our MLAs fail to act now, the damage done to the Workers’ Compensation System will be measured in decades instead of years and inevitably will lead to reductions in benefits for injured workers.”

In a pre-election survey conducted by CFIB in August, small business owners ranked “Stabilizing workers’ compensation costs” as one of the top four priorities to address by a newly-elected government.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Louis-Philippe Gauthier, Director of Provincial Affairs, New Brunswick
506-961-5706
[email protected]

About CFIB
CFIB is Canada’s largest organization exclusively representing the interests of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region, 5000 of which are located in New Brunswick. Learn more at cfib.ca.