By Anthony Capkun
September 12, 2017 – Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Insurance Board says that—after conducting a multi-year engagement with experts and stakeholders—it is changing the way the board calculates employer premium rates, adding the process will be easier for employers to understand, and more accurately reflect the risks associated with operating their businesses.
According to WSIB’s website, “We are changing the way we set premium rates for the 300,000 Ontario businesses covered by our workplace injury and illness insurance because every business deserves a system that is fair, transparent and easy to understand”.
The new premium rate-setting model is called the rate framework, and will change the way Schedule 1 employers are classified, and the way their premium rates are set and adjusted.
The rate framework will classify Ontario’s 300,000 businesses by adopting the North American Industry Classification Structure system (NAICS), which is already used by Statistics Canada and Canada Revenue Agency.
In the new framework, employers will be assigned to a Predominant Class, which is generally based on the Class that represents the employer’s largest percentage of insurable earnings. WSIB says the framework provides an approach “that ensures a fair premium for workplace coverage, and is based on each employer’s individual risk and claims experience”.
“In addition to your annual rates, you will be given projected premium rates in advance, which will act as an early indicator of the direction of your premium rates. This will help keep you informed and prepared for any changes to your rates in the future. As well, any rate changes as a result of the new model will be phased over time, to allow you to adjust,” says WSIB.
“We will continue our risk-sharing arrangement among all employers who collectively pay premiums to maintain the insurance fund,” says WSIB. “The rate framework is revenue neutral; the overall total amount of premium dollars collected by the WSIB will not change.”
WSIB is currently accepting input on seven draft policies to support the implementation of the rate framework. To take part in this consultation, review the information on the Rate Framework Policy Consultation page and provide your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 13, 2017.
This rate framework will be implemented January 1, 2020.