Ontario employers will see their injured-worker insurance premiums increase by an average of 4.3 per cent by 2012.
The average Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premium will increase by five cents in 2011 and five cents in 2012, bringing the average total premium to $2.40 per $100 of pay. With premiums varying widely by industry, some sectors will see no increase while others will see increases as high as 13.5 per cent.
The increase will hurt businesses that are still struggling after the recession, said the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
The WSIB, which already has the highest premiums in the country, said the increase is less than what is needed to eliminate the board's annual deficits and start eliminating the $12-billion shortfall in the WSIB reserve fund.
An independent panel will conduct a year-long review to find ways to address the deficits and shortfall, said WSIB president David Marshall.
The panel, chaired by Harry Arthurs who was a commissioner for Ontario's recent pension review, will gather input from workers, labour and employers on a range of policy issues facing the board.
The panel will include John Tory, former leader of the Ontario Conservative Party and business leader; Buzz Hargrove, former head of the Canadian Auto Workers union; John O'Grady, chair of the Institute for Work and Health; and Maureen Farrow, economist.
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