The government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced that amendments to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act will be introduced, enhancing benefits available to injured workers and their families. If the amendments are passed, the income replacement rate (IRR) for injured workers in Newfoundland and Labrador, or their dependents, will increase from 80 to 85 per cent. The IRR is the percentage of a worker’s pre-injury net income that is covered by the workers’ compensation system.
“The workplace injury compensation system in our province is now able to provide an increase to benefits for injured workers in a period where the cost for employers has declined,” said Dennis Hogan, CEO of WorkplaceNL.
Wage-loss benefits will be calculated at 85 per cent of an individual’s net (after tax) earnings. The individual’s gross (before tax) income is capped at the maximum compensable assessable earnings (MCAE), which is $64,375 for 2018. Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest MCAE in Atlantic Canada. The higher IRR will help improve benefits to injured workers and dependent spouses, without increasing the average assessment rate charged to employers, the provincial government said.
In keeping with the focus on safe and healthy workplaces, Advancing a Strong Safety Culture in Newfoundland and Labrador, is also being launched by the provincial Government and Workplace NL. The five-year workplace injury prevention strategy was developed in consultation with injury prevention partners and stakeholders.
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The WSIB, with JLT Canada and the Public Services Health and Safety Administration, held a discussion panel to explain the changes to the rate-setting framework.