Responsible Decisions for Workers and Employers Support a Vibrant Economy
Friday, December 20, 2013


Improved Benefits and Reduced Assessment Rates are Positive Changes for Workers and Employers  

Injured workers in Newfoundland and Labrador will receive increased benefits as a result of enhancements to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Regulations. At the same time, employers will also benefit from reduced assessment rates. The changes will come into effect on January 1, 2014.  

“With prudent management of the workers’ compensation system and a growing culture of safety over the past decade, the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission is now in a position to address the concerns of workers and employers by providing improved benefits and reduced assessment rates.”
- The Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister of Service NL and Minister Responsible for the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission

The Maximum Compensable and Assessable Earnings (MCAE) for injured workers will increase to $60,760, which includes a base increase of $6,000 plus the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment of one per cent. In addition, the average base assessment rate for employers will be reduced by $0.30 to $2.45 per $100 of assessable payroll for 2014. Approximately 99.8 per cent of employers will see a decrease in their assessment rates in 2014. Further details on the changes to the MCAE and the assessment rates for employers are contained in the backgrounder below.  

“We believe that these changes reflect a balanced approach by considering the needs of both workers and employers, while also being financially responsible with the injury fund. The Board is pleased with the progress of the Commission and proud that workplaces are becoming safer through the efforts of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, workers and employers alike.”
- Ralph Tucker, Chair, Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission

Through sound fiscal management and responsible decisions, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is strengthening the business environment, encouraging the development of innovative industries and building a vibrant economy

QUICK FACTS

  • Both workers and employers in Newfoundland and Labrador will benefit from improved benefits and reduced assessment rates.
  • Injured workers submitting new claims with injury dates on or after January 1, 2014, will be eligible to be compensated up to the new limit of $60,760, depending upon their pre-injury earnings. 
  • For employers, the MCAE increase applies to assessments on individuals with annual gross earnings at or above the previous MCAE of $54,155. At the average assessment rate of $2.45, to increase the maximum limit by $6,000, the increment in insurance will cost these employers less than $150 per year, per worker. This may be offset by the reduction in their assessment rate.
  • This decrease in the assessment rate is an average. Individual employers will continue to have different assessment rates depending upon their industry and workplace injury experience.
  • Assessment rates are premiums paid by employers to cover anticipated costs of workplace injuries, return-to-work programs, prevention initiatives and the cost of administering the workers’ compensation system.  

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Media contacts:

Vanessa Colman-Sadd
Director of Communications
Service NL
709-729-4860, 682-6593
vanessacolmansadd@gov.nl.ca

 
Carla Riggs
Director of Communications
Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission
709-778-1590
carla.riggs@whscc.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER

Changes to the Maximum Compensable and Assessable Earnings and Employer Assessment Rates  

The Maximum Compensable and Assessable Earnings (MCAE) for injured workers will increase to $60,760 in 2014, which includes a base increase of $6,000 plus the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment of one per cent. The base increase in the maximum compensable limit recognizes the trend of increasing wages in Newfoundland and Labrador.  

In addition, the average base assessment rate for employers will be reduced by $0.30 to $2.45 per $100 of assessable payroll for 2014. This decrease in the assessment rate is an average. Individual employers will continue to have different assessment rates depending upon their industry and workplace injury experience. Approximately 99.8 per cent of employers will see a decrease in their assessment rates in 2014.The assessment rate for employers continues to include a $0.25 surcharge to address the unfunded liability of the injury fund. The average assessment rate had remained stable at $2.75 since 2006.  

The reduction for the assessment rate is due to a downward trend in the cost of the workers’ compensation system. It is estimated that less revenue will be required to cover the current and future cost of annual injuries, allowing a reduction in assessment rates for employers.  

For 2014, an employer’s total assessment will be based on their new individual assessment rate, their assessable earnings factoring the new MCAE and their individual safety performance under the PRIME program. Employers will be notified, in writing, of their individual assessment rates in early January and rates will be available via connect online services before year-end. 

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