The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba's (WCB) tabled its 2016 annual report where it rewarded employers that have embraced prevention and return to work initiatives by lowering the average assessment rate.
"We were pleased to celebrate 100 years of serving Manitoban employers and workers," said Winston Maharaj, president and CEO of the WCB. "Employers' efforts and successes in injury prevention and return to work are paying off. That progress, combined with strong investment income, allow us to lower the rates employers pay while at the same time maintaining the benefits injured workers rely on."
The average assessment rate decreased by $0.05 in 2016 to $1.25 and the downward trend continues with the recent 2017 rate announcement of $1.10. Since 2014, the WCB's two consecutive years of rate decreases returned $85 million to employers.
"We are encouraged by the great strides employers have made with injury prevention which saw the time loss injury rate dip below 3 for the first time," said Maharaj. "This, coupled with more employers embracing return to work efforts which minimizes a worker's absence from work, are paying off for both employers and workers."
The WCB also continued to implement the assessment rate model and focused on lessening the impact of transitional changes to small and medium-sized employers.
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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.