WCBs facing cost increases

Employers in B.C., Alberta concerned about future rates
By Mike Moralis
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/25/2001

Accident prevention and strong financial markets over the past few years have contributed to several consecutive years of workers’ compensation premium rate reductions across Canada, but tougher times are looming.

After several years of rate decreases, the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia told employers in August to expect a rate increase. The preliminary rate figures won’t formally be set until November, but the B.C. Chamber of Commerce says the increase could be as much as 16.7 per cent for hotels and 11.4 per cent for restaurants. Chamber president John Winter has written to Minister of Skills Development and Labour Graham Bruce, saying that an “increase in payroll taxes” could only hinder economic growth.

Winter’s letter says B.C.’s rates are “already high when compared to competing and neighbouring jurisdictions.” He called for a freeze on WCB rates at 2001 levels, pending a review of core WCB services by the government.