TORONTO, ONTARIO – Sept. 20, 2005 – The Board of Directors of Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has approved the final average premium rate for 2006. The 2006 average rate will be $2.26 for every $100 of insurable earnings – a three per cent increase compared with the current rate of $2.19. This is only the second time in the last 10 years that the WSIB has raised the average premium rate. For the 10-year period from 1995 to 2004, the average rate paid by Ontario’s employers declined 27 per cent, from $3.00 to $2.19.
In an open and transparent process earlier this year, the WSIB held a comprehensive series of information sessions for employer and worker representatives, covering the WSIB funding framework, premium rates, and experience rating programs, as well as other aspects of the workplace safety and insurance system. The WSIB Board of Directors also approved a planned and disciplined approach to managing the financial pressures, risks and uncertainties of the coming years. This approach included the elimination of the unfunded liability by 2014 as a key funding principle.
“The Board’s final decision on premium rates is consistent with maintaining a strong Ontario economy and the need to retire the unfunded liability by 2014”, said Jill Hutcheon, WSIB President and Interim Chair. “We can not allow this debt load to be passed on to future generations of employers. The WSIB must take action now.”
Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board plays a key role in the province’s occupational health and safety system. The WSIB administers no-fault workplace insurance for employers and their workers and is committed to the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses. The WSIB provides disability benefits, monitors the quality of healthcare and assists in early and safe return to work for workers who are injured on the job or contract an occupational disease. The WSIB is an arm’s-length agency of the Ministry of Labour. It has statutory authority under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to determine its own practices and policies, including setting premium rates.
For more information about WSIB premium rates, including a complete list of final 2006 rates for all industry rate groups and detailed presentation materials from the information sessions, please visit the WSIB website at www.wsib.on.ca.